Lombardi, on Visnovsky trade

Finally, here’s what Lombardi had to say about the controversy surrounding the Lubomir Visnovsky trade, particularly the allegations that Lombardi “never called” Visnovsky after the trade and essentially went back on his word to trade Visnovsky to a pre-approved team. Lombardi discusses both of these topics in detail.

Thanks again to everyone for the support today. We’ll get back at it tomorrow, in what should be a very interesting day.

Here’s the final quotes…

———-

“Number one, when the deal was done Sunday night, the first guy who was called was his agent, who was kept apprised, over the weekend, about what was going on. I guess the sequence of how it went was this… We had met at the draft. I had asked what (Visnovsky’s) priorities were and I made it clear that we would try to send him to a team that he wants to go to, assuming all things are equal. That obviously didn’t come to fruition. I think, as we saw today, the teams that could take on money, one of the reasons they were (active in terms of Visnovsky) is that they were looking at Redden and Rozsival. So why make a deal with L.A., when I could get these guys for free and not have to give up the equivalent of Stoll and Greene?

“So yes, we did have his priorities in mind, but that was the thing I told him. I said, `All things being equal, we’ll try to get you to where you want to go,’ but it wasn’t even close, to where we had to make that call. I was a little surprised. But now I see what they’re doing in free agency. The teams that he was interested in — Dallas, Tampa, the Rangers — there was nothing there, in terms of their interest. Quite frankly, all our intesest was north of the border. Then when the trade goes down, I called the agent right away and explained it to him. I knew it was (pre-dawn) in Slovakia, so right away I told the agent. Then when I came in yesterday morning, I called (Visnovsky). It was the first call I made. Finally, I left a message and said, `Call me back.’

“I knew it was going to be really emotional for him. The agent had actually called me at home after the trade and said, `He’s really emotional.’ So I said, `Let it sink in. I’ll call him first thing in the morning.’ So I called him first thing in the morning and didn’t get a hold of him. So finally I left a message and just told him, `This had nothing to do with you as a hockey player or a person.’ I tried to do the best I could on his (answering) machine there. The first two calls, I didn’t get him and I didn’t get a message. Then finally I thought, well, I have to leave something. It was the first call I made. Lubo’s number was on my desk when I came in, and I made three calls. This kind of thing isn’t fun, because he’s a damn good player and he’s a really good person.”

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  • Shakes

    Bulldog (good call Crash) you rock.

    Seriously if you ever wanted to focus on the website more or god knows what happens in the newspaper industry going forward you should consider at least soliciting “donations”. I think a lot of us diehards would def pay something annually (but keep it free access to everyone ’cause you do wanna see new people get hooked)

  • Anon D

    Just wanted to say thanks Rich for all the hard work on this Blog. You do a terrific job and we all appreciate the updates, quotes and inside info us die-hard King’s fans so desparetly seek!

  • anthony

    Thanks Rich,
    Your commitment to the team and the fans is awesome.

  • Aaron

    Rich,

    Thanks for your work today. Last year, day 2 of free agency was when we actually had Kings news so perhaps that will again be the case tomorrow. I’m curious to see what comes about with this “across the board” defenseman.

    Tomorrow is going to be another unproductive day at work checking in here, TSN, sportsnet, etc.

  • Anthony

    All I have to say is…waaaaah I get paid 28 million to play hockey…..waaaaahh.

    Stoll and Green will be giants on this team.

    Not small and soft (especially after being rewarded with a heft contract)

  • ryan oliver

    Agreed. Thanks alot Rich.

  • Crush

    Bulldog… horrible idea. We saw today what a fansite that shuts itself down to paid members does to Kings fans. Those “fans” that start such websites just to suck money out of diehard fans are pathetic losers who need real jobs.

    Finally we have a good source of information and now all of a sudden we have to pay for it? No thanks.

    Rich, keep up the great work. Thanks for all you do.

  • KingFan4ever

    I think it was one of those things where there Lubo was so emotional that the first thing he felt was hurt and betrayal. I think that’s a rather natural way to feel when someone has been with one team for a while and they are traded. On top of that, the fact that this affair had to be conducted long distance, via phone had an impact on perception.

    You can accuse DL of a lot of things but from what I have seen of his demeanor as a GM and a person, I think he is sincere and would not have just taken this lightly.

    When more time has passed, I think both parties will agree that the situation was handled properly and professionally.

  • El Guapo

    Keep it up, Rich. We really appreciate having this blog.

  • SS

    Rich,

    As it was done with Visnovsky, it’s become standard operating procedure in the NHL to try to sign key players to extensions the summer before they become UFA’s. This trade demonstrated the worst case scenario from a players perspective. Do you (or Dean, if you have a chance to ask him) think this trade will negatively impact the Kings’ ability to get these extensions done in the future?

  • typicaljs

    he wasn’t saying make people pay to see it or anything. He was just suggesting make a place for people to donate to rich because everyone loves what an awesome job he does.

    And LGK only shuts down to people who pay money because otherwise their servers would overload and crash in times of heavy traffic, they dont have the type of server’s and bandwith that say, TSN does.

  • JDM

    Seriously great job Rich! You’re a stud and a purist among journalists’ in the hockey news deprived grand city of ours.

  • Mark

    Great job Rich and I also think that you should open a donation link because this is top notch service that you provide. Lets just hope I can get away with that much web surfing tomorrow at work.

  • John

    Hey Rich, what did DL have to say about the Gauthier trade? THANKS MAN!

  • Duckhunter

    All I can say is, I don’t know much about the business end of hockey, who is a good GM or not, who’s a good coach or not etc…. I’m just a pure sports-hockey fan. But what I’ve seen and heard from DL so far has been real. He SEEMS to be a straight-foreward and respectable individual, no matter what you think of his moves or decisions. I think he’s doing a fine job so far.

    Rich “Bulldog” Hammond-Captain of KingNation!!!!!!!!!!

  • Al

    Rich, you’ve done such a great job over the past year and today you blew the lid off, I don’t know how you did it but there were a couple of times you had the news before TSN on a trade. As a hockey fan for some 61 years now, this is absolutely great and when I want to see some drama I read the Anthony’s reactions here, DL sure has him on the string. Thanks again Rich and I’ll be looking to meet you at the Prospects camp coming up.

  • Hrudio

    Keep in mind, too, the time difference would’ve really thrown things off, since there’s a nine-hour difference between L.A. and Slovakia. I’m in the same time zone as Lubo and heard nothing about a deal when I went to bed shortly after midnight, which was not long before the deal went down. The timing was such that, since Lubo had probably gone to bed shortly before the trade was made, he would’ve been getting up around the time Lombardi went to bed, and Lombardi would’ve gotten up on Monday around dinnertime in Slovakia, so all told, it would’ve been 16-18 hours from when the deal was made till when the two could’ve theoretically connected on the phone.

  • Anonymous

    thank you rich for all the updates and info on everything this season.

  • Maddy

    So tough to see Visnovsky go. I guarantee this won’t pan out. I hope Im wrong.

  • nykingfan

    Great job Rich. You are a true Kings fan…someone we all look to for our information. Nobody does it the way you do.

    Shakes..
    Please stop pushing the pay site thing. You can’t even put a $ figure on the importance of the site. It’s invaluable to all us die hard Kings fan and we are eternally grateful to Rich. But here’s the reality;
    I’m paying $4+ a gallon of gas and driving 80 miles a day to and from work…food has gone up at an insane rate…I’m trying to put one of my kids through college with another one going shortly. Everything has gone up except my salary…..Exactly where the f*** is the $ going to come from to pay for the site? I’m already paying for the hockey package to watch my beloved Kings play.
    If you’re so well off, you can pay for all of us to continue to enjoy the site…I don’t care…but please look at what’s going on economically in this country first. I don’t mean this in a nasty way, but it is, what it is.

  • brianguy

    haha LGK… funny

    and if they wanted to boost their servers, all they would have to do is solicit donations. way before that, the last time I ever tried to go there, my account didn’t even exist anymore. a pathetic attempt at a site

  • brianguy

    Lubo: “nobody” called you because you’re in B.F. Slovakia. maybe you should be mad at your agent for the lack of communication instead?

    I like the guy but c’mon… he just sounds upset he’s not playing in Dallas or NY

  • paul

    not surprise DL would do that does not treat player right thats why nobody wants to play in LA

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    I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.

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