A bigger separation between Los Angeles and San Jose comes in the pivot. The top three Kings centermen combined for a total of 146 points, while Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture tallied 182 points.
With Michal Handzus becoming an unrestricted free agent July 1 and questions regarding Brayden Schenn's emergence as a No. 2 center next season, LA's front office will likely look at an established center to close the gap with the Sharks.
The St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie, who lost several brownie points after missing a Mar. 28 practice, may be in line for a change of scenery and would fit nicely with the Kings young core.
Only 24 years old, Oshie plays with an edge and is a solid two-way performer, traits the Kings organization greatly values.
Lombardi is notorious for looking for value in the trade market; the combination of Oshie's unexcused absence and a broken ankle that shelved him for 31 games mid-season could lower the bounty of his restricted free agent rights.
A far more costly alternative would see Lombardi dialing up Flyers GM Paul Holmgren regarding the availability of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
Rumors abound that ownership is tired of the pair's behavior in the locker room and either could be had in a trade at the NHL Entry Draft in Minneapolis.
The familiarity between the two organizations has increased the chatter that Los Angeles could provide cap relief by taking one of their high-priced stars, allowing the Flyers to realistically get in the hunt for free agent netminders Ilya Bryzgalov and Tomas Vokoun.