Via Matthew Barry: Lombardi on Kopitar’s training and Brown’s Baby Fat

I can get a guy, an 8 million dollar guy, or (Anze) Kopitar goes to the next level and learns to be a pro, I’ll take the latter. We’re not going to win a cup either way unless that happens. (Dustin) Brown made a huge adjustment last year. Brownie took a step last summer in terms of “okay, now I get it” because Brownie was kind of a little pudgy and stuff, stayed here all summer and trained, so it took him 3 years to figure it out and now we gave him the Captaincy. But he still has things to learn. But he made the commitment to himself. Last year was the first year”.

“We need to see that from Kopitar. The biggest thing to me is Kopitar, in terms of him training this summer, because he has not been in shape yet in his career. Even those guys… him and (Jack) Johnson and (Jonathan) Quick who are a little older than the other three, they’ve got a lot of work to do. Kopitar doesn’t match up yet with Getzlaf or Crosby but you could see he’s got the potential to be a “one”. So when you’re building you say, “I’ve got a guy that can get to the “one” and invest in the “two”.”

Hopefully the investment in former Stanley Cup winner Justin Williams will be the spark Kopitar needs to take his game to the next level. The mention of Williams brings a smile to Lombardi’s face.

That thought of the lefty/righty with (Kopitar)… Willie’s a pretty smart player. In terms of the little plays he makes, he’s probably one of the better ones on our team now’.

via HockeyBuzz.com – Matthew Barry – Dean Lombardi Interview: Part One.