As I said, I’ll talk to Lombardi later, but for those searching for an answer to the question of “what went wrong?” I can offer this: a member of the organization, who was familiar with the negotiations yesterday, said the Kings’ biggest obstacle was their lack of recent success. Meaning that even if the Kings fielded a competitive offer, a free agent was more likely to go somewhere else, with the belief that he had a better chance to win. I believe (my theory) that this was particularly the case with Drury, who waited for Gomez to sign with the Rangers, then jumped on board. I’m not sure how that factored in with Briere because, well, he chose Philly.
It almost creates a chicken-egg situation, because you need talented players in order to win, but you’re not going to get talented players until you win. Obviously the way you solve that is to win by developing your prospects and making good decisions with second-tier free agents, but that hasn’t worked out for the Kings in a long time.