Lombardi believes that a team is just that. A team. One that comes through the system together, forms a bond and learns how to win. It’s a trust. A trust that begins before a player is drafted.
“I don’t have (a) Steve Yzerman to teach”, he began. “I don’t have that to give to you. I’m gonna have to count on you”. All those kids I visited before we took Doughty, I said “why should I trust you? I don’t have Niclas Lidstrom for you to learn from. We haven’t won in 44 years. So the only way we’ve ever gonna get this is you guys are gonna have to be the first ones. So why should I trust you?””
It’s the same question he’s asked Duchene and Kane and Schenn and all of the other prospects he’s interviewed. “I have to trust you because I can’t offer you what those guys in Detroit have. I can’t offer you what Dallas would have given their young players”. Handing it off to Morrow. Or Sakic handing off to Hedjuk. Handing it of to Datsyuk.”