With the Kings long since out of the playoff race, Lombardi has focused on the future. In the past four weeks he has traded Craig Conroy, Sean Avery, Brent Sopel and Norstrom. Since his hiring last April, Lombardi has made a net gain of five draft picks in 2007 and 2008. The Kings have committed roughly $22.5 million to 11 players for next season, giving them significant cap room. But Lombardi’s late moves put a dent in the Kings’ defense, one that will need to be addressed this summer. In dealing Norstrom and Brent Sopel (on Monday), Lombardi sent away two of the Kings’ top five defensemen, and another, Aaron Miller, will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In the centerpiece deal of a busy day, the Kings sent Norstrom, winger Konstantin Pushkarev and 2007 third- and fourth-round draft picks to Dallas for defenseman Jaroslav Modry, a first-round pick in 2008, second- and third-round picks in 2007 and the rights to defenseman Johan Fransson. “This is my hardest day, other than the day I was fired (by San Jose),” Lombardi said. “Emotionally it rips your heart out, but this was something I thought we needed to do.” At the end of a long day, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi found himself with a heavy heart, a depleted roster and a team without a captain, but also with some major optimism for the future. The Kings made three deals in the waning moments before Tuesday afternoon’s trade deadline, the most notable of which sent defenseman and team captain Mattias Norstrom to the Dallas Stars. Also, the Kings acquired veteran defenseman Jamie Heward from Washington for a 2008 fifth-round pick and traded forward Jason Ward to Tampa Bay for a 2007 fifth-round pick. At the end of a dizzying day, the Kings were left without Norstrom, their captain since 2001-02, a rock-steady presence on the ice and in the dressing room but also a defenseman with a burdensome contract. Norstrom, 35, is due $4.25 million next season as part of the two-year extension he signed last March. By trading Norstrom, Lombardi accomplished his two primary goals. He cleared roster space – Modry will be a free agent this summer – and stockpiled more draft picks.