Hindsight is certainly 20/20, but after witnessing what the Los Angeles Kings were able to accomplish this spring, it's hard to believe Lombardi was left off this year's ballot.
Lombardi recognized his team's ability to win now and made the moves last summer and this season to ensure that happened.
Last summer, the Kings' general manager moved the unmovable Brayden Schenn in order to acquire former Flyers captain Mike Richards. Then, after a rocky star to his time in Columbus, Jeff Carter was snatched up in a midseason transaction to aid a struggling Kings offense.
Finally, and most importantly, Lombardi pulled the trigger in mid-December bringing in Darryl Sutter to replace Terry Murray as the team's head coach. Sutter proved he knew which buttons to push and when to validate Lombardi's faith in him.
The window to win isn't often open for long, and Lombardi adeptly recognized the Kings' time was now.