Lombardi, on Blake and O’Sullivan

I asked Lombardi about the potential of signing Rob Blake and the fact that it didn’t happen today…

“Part of the thing we’re looking at there is getting the (defenseman) who fits across the board, like I said, then work on a number of other things. And we’ll see if it works (with Blake) and if we can make it work financially for him as well as us. But we’ve got to keep the door open right now, in terms of getting a guy who fits not only this year but going forward.”

Then I asked about Patrick O’Sullivan, and whether the big money given to young players would have a negative impact on the Kings’ ability to sign him…

“No, we had kind of adjusted for that, going in, when we did our projections. I don’t think you can kid yourself. The one thing you learn early in your career is, you don’t think, `Oh yeah, we can get him for this.’ You put in your number, going across three or four years, and you make it realistic. I think the number we have is realistic. I guess the numbers you’re talking about for the young players… I don’t think a lot changed (for O’Sullivan). If you’re talking about the top young guys, Patrick hasn’t gone to that level. If you’re talking about (Corey) Perry and (Jeff) Carter and those guys. If he takes another step, God bless him, but I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s in that range.

“The one significant one that happened in the market today was probably (David) Backes, with that offer sheet. And part of the number you use, don’t forget, depends on the term. We’re in good position with him in terms of our rights. Then there’s a number you’d lock him in at, but you’re keeping an eye on the free-agent line. But I think our number is OK. I don’t think anything really changed in the free-agent market that wasn’t there. (Ryan) Getzlaf was already there, and some of those guys. The other thing is, a lot of these deals are done before July 1, but some of them aren’t signed and announced. So some of them don’t come down until today, but we knew what those numbers were, even before the draft.”

I asked if he was still confident that something could be done with O’Sullivan soon…

“Oh yeah, but I’ll be honest with you. We just haven’t grinded on that yet. After this free agency, I’ll make Solly (Jeff Solomon) go to work. (laughs) And that includes the other (restricted free agents) too. Those things tend to drag out.”

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  • I post my first and last name because I think I’m really important.

    so can everyone freaking out about this stuff PLEASE CALM DOWN now?

  • Nick

    Rich, do you think Lombardi will add a d-man even if he does re-sign Blake….because the Kings will already have 7 NHL defensemen…Blake, Preissing, Johnson, Doughty, Harrold, Gauthier and Greene….Why add a #8 guy? I thought he wanted to give Doughty a shot?

  • Deano

    7 D???

    Gauthier and Harrold are Manchester bound…DONT LOSE ORPIK DEANO!! THROW YOUR PURSE AT HIM!!!!

  • decker

    For the first time it sounds like Blake may not be coming back.

    I’m glad Khabibulin is not in there short term plans.
    You have to give Ersberg a shot after the performance he put in at the end of last season.

  • Anthony

    THE PROBLEM IS HOW TO HOLD YOUR CORE PLAYERS WHEN YOUR TEAM SUCKS SO BAD THAT EVERYONE WANTS TO GO ELSEWHERE TO HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN THE GRAIL. And this current management group has already shown they wont pay big money to retain core players (Lubo and Cammy and Fill-in who ever is next) so by the time we may be competitive this team wont look like this team anymore.

    what looks more likley is that we will be a perenially high drafting team for years to come, that doesnt amount to much, because we dont decide to win, wont pay to win, so it must be the case that we just dont care to win. And no matter how you slice it, players play to win the Cup.

    If winning now isn’t a dictate, a team mantra that travels down from on high through an organization all the time, at every moment, at every step, in every decision, in every game and every shift, then the players wont feel like winners, develop like winners and in the end, wont be winners.

    AS DL said to Helene Elliott. talking about the meetign he had with disgruntled longtime STH’s ” there was this season ticket holder pounding the table saying you can fill in the boxes [on the erase board] but at the end of the year you dont make the playoffs” and at the end of the next year your dont make the playoffs. Well, on every winning team I’ve ever seen develop, the emphasis is winning first and everything must flow from there.

    put another way, if you dont aim high, your bound to hit low!

  • TeamHasHoles

    Gauthier spent all last season in the minors, mainly so he wasn’t a cap hit to Philly, but he could definitely be a depth guy (ala Jon Klemm). And if I’m reading it right, DL wants to try to bring in the “Across the board” d-Man first, the decide what’s next (maybe Blake, maybe not).

  • TeamHasHoles

    and you’re right Rich, sounds like O’sullivan will be handled with all the other RFAs unless he gets an Offer sheet, and it sounds like DL isn’t concerned about him getting an outrageous Offer sheet out of left field.

  • Quisp

    Re “sounds like Blake might not be coming back”

    remember, DL is NEGOTIATING RIGHT NOW. He can’t say “Blake’s coming back for sure, we love him” when they’re working out the money. His agent would just jump all over that. Also, he’s not going to resolve Blake until the “mystery UFA” shakes out (a.k.a. Orpik). Not because he won’t sign both but because if he signs Orpik that gives him leverage with Blake.

    Re “Gauthier is Manchester bound”

    I don’t think so. I think he will be given every chance to make the team and be a giant friggin tree in front of the net.

    Re Doughty:

    It’s Harrold who is vulnerable if DL signs any more D. Doughty is expected to make the team and be a top 4.

  • JDM

    I disagree Anthony, I see DL’s moves as putting together a winning team. How can you say they won’t lock up core players while complaining about not being active in the admittedly overpriced market when spending big money on a player who (A) may not mesh with our core or (B) cost us too much money in the long term to sign the core we all so desperately want to keep, is something he is not doing specifically in order to try and build a winning team.

    I sympathize, as do we all, because we’ve watched many years of exactly what you’re talking. DL dropped some really bad bombs his first year (Clouts, MC). He rode with the tide last year and just got through it (Not firing MC and causing a stir up during the season). Now he is poised to build a winner. I could be wrong, but that’s the way I see his moves, as painful as some of them may be on some level (Vis).

    I have confidence that Sully will get locked up for atleast 3 years, that Kopi will get locked up for 4 or 5 next year, as will Johnson and most likely Bernier. After that, I would imagine him spending extra cash on a mid-top UFA next year or the year after.

    A little optimism never killed anyone either…

  • Duckhunter

    I keep hearing people say Doughty is going to be one of the defenceman that the Kings are going to rely on. Don’t get your hopes up. If he is one of our top 4 defenceman, then we’re in big trouble. He’s not going to be ready to fill that roll right away. And if the Kings and fans expect that, theres going to be some disappointments. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not holding my breath. Unless you’re a freak of nature, making level jumps, is a long process, because the learning curve is so immense, both mentally and physically

  • -J

    Anthony- WTF, man! You’ve been begging the Kings to trade Cammi for months now and praised the Visnovsky trade, saying things like, and I quote, “Looks like DL is getting his act together. This trade is awesome.” and “No way he’s worth over $5 Million a year.
    He’ll never regain his form and play the way he used to.” Now you’re using these guys as examples of management’s shortfalls at keeping core guys around.

    And as far as keeping core players around goes, Brown was signed to a 6 year contract extension and Vis, prior to his bad season and departure from the rebuild core, was locked up on a 5 year contract extension. How do you construe that as “this current management group has already shown they wont pay big money to retain core players”?

  • jb

    DL seems to be very methodical in building this team,but then says something that seems non-sensical:
    …”If you’re talking about the top young guys, Patrick hasn’t gone to that level. If you’re talking about (Corey) Perry and (Jeff) Carter and those guys. If he takes another step, God bless him, but I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s in that range.”
    Carter had 53 points, same as POS, and Perry had 54 with better players around them. They are all the same age, and POS seems more versaitle, as he can play all 3forward positions. So how DL determines that POS is not at the same level is beyond me.

  • Baumgartner22

    Duckhunter, i agree 100% re: doughty. great d-men take quite a few years to develop. pronger was a #2 overall pick back in 1993 and hartford got impatient with him and dealt him for shanahan. #2 pick wade redden took quite a few years to develop too. list goes on… be patient

  • DellaNooch

    Anthony – You contradicted yourself so badly on this comment page it goes well beyond ridiclous, it’s straight up insane…as J pointed out, you were the first to say Vis was being overpaid and should be traded….now you’re saying we underpaid him and you wanted him to say? You took every opportunity to rip on Cammy, we could have been talking about the Oscars and you would bring up “Lord Cammi”, now he’s part of your core?

    I enjoy your opposite and outrageous views, it good for debate and sometimes I agree with you, but please never write something this dumb again…and if you really need to say something this stupid, please post it on a Ducks blog, I understand they are well versed in the language of stupidity

  • Crash Davis

    Re: Patrick O’Sullivan. Remember that DL is still negotiating with his agent, so he can’t say POS is worth Corey Perry or Jeff Carter money – not yet. If he does, that sets the bar for what POS’s agent can ask for = $5 mil+ a yr for 3 years (Carter) or 5 years (Perry).

    If I had to guess, DL wants O’Sullivan at somewhere between $2-$3 mil a yr at 3-4 years. Having said that, just look at the Dustin Brown deal. 5 years at an avg of $3.175. What a bargain these days for a guy still on his way up. Smart to lock him up early.

    The other issue is this: guys hit free agency at 27 now. O’Sullivan is just 4 years from that. This contract at this moment is very important – for both player and team. Gotta get it right.

  • mrbrett7

    I think Anthony may be bi-polar. I’d like to know what you do for a living, because if you make enough money for season seats, I need your job with your brain…it obviously doesn’t seem to work to well.