Falling in line with an argument I submitted recently, Bob McKenzie discussed the Los Angeles Kings’ chances of landing Rick Nash – and how they might be better off going with his Columbus Blue Jackets teammate Jeff Carter.
(That’s not to say that he’s better, the argument revolves around the fact that he’s easier to get and less expensive to employ.)
McKenzie also points out another logical possibility of renting Edmonton Oilers winger Ales Hemsky, but that would require Dean Lombardi and Steve Tambellini to really hug it out after those Bernie Madoff comments. (Not to mention the fact that the Kings would have to ignore how poorly their last deadline deal went with Edmonton, as Dustin Penner has eaten far more pancakes than he scored goals.)
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I’m not a financial expert by the slightest stretch, but I feel safe to say that it’s not very nice when someone compares someone else to Bernie Madoff.
That’s exactly what Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi did regarding Oilers GM Steve Tambellini in the angry aftermath of the team’s (eventually successful) attempts to trade Ryan Smyth back to his second home in Edmonton. The Kings executive was upset that the players he received – Gilbert Brule in the botched deal and then Colin Fraser in the finalized one – came back injured.
Lombardi was smoking mad months ago, but it seems like time cooled his anger, as The Los Angeles Times’ Helene Elliott reports that he apologized for his remarks.
“I should have never said what I said publicly,” Lombardi said. “It was the wrong thing to do.”
That might be true from a P.R. standpoint, but let’s hope he doesn’t learn too much from this situation. After all, we’d lose out on a lot of great one-liners if Lombardi developed what most of us call a “filter.”
Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi isn’t very shy about sharing his opinions. On occasion, he’ll call a Kings player out, as we’ve seen when he criticized Jack Johnson’s lack of structure during his college days at Michigan and Dustin Penner’s perceived lukewarm hustle.
Those are just comments about his own players, though. When other teams make Lombardi mad, things get even more interesting. The Kings general manager has been so incensed by the state of Colin Fraser’s health (Fraser came to Los Angeles in a trade that sent Ryan Smyth back to Edmonton) that he said: “I would have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton’s word.”
It was the second instance in which the Kings felt that the player the Oilers sent back in the deal wasn’t healthy enough for their liking. The original deal included Gilbert Brule, but that trade was put on hold when it became clear that Brule wasn’t 100 percent.
The NHL decided to use a mediator to try to resolve the issue between the two teams, but Helene Elliott reports that the session wasn’t successful. Elliott reports that the Kings’ next step would be to file a formal grievance with the league, which would force NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to figure out a solution.
It’s unclear what, exactly, Bettman would do if the buck stops at his office. Maybe the Kings will decide that it’s not worth it, although Lombardi seems like he might want to bring some Zeus-like vengeance upon the Oilers front office. While the latest developments indicate that it might be tough to maintain peace, perhaps Edmonton can sweeten the deal a little bit to soothe some of the wounds (or at least make it certain that Smyth will be back in the fold).
Lombardi’s been pushing all the right buttons – for the most part – during a landmark off-season for the Kings. His show isn’t done yet, though, as he still needs to re-sign star defenseman Drew Doughty and write the last chapter of this saga. We’ll keep an eye on that entertaining situation as the summer unfolds.