Brisson comments

Here’s what Pat Brisson, Rob Blake’s agent, had to say tonight about the way things went down between Blake and the Kings. It’s lengthy, but if you’ve been following the saga today, you might find it to be a good read. As I told Pat tonight, all I’m trying to get is get the information out there. People can make up their minds based upon what they believe and read. What an interesting subplot to the week though, huh?

For those who might not know, Brisson is one of the biggest agents in the game and is close friends with Luc Robitaille. His client list is deep and impressive and also includes Jack Johnson and Anze Kopitar.

———-

“Rob signed here (in 2006) because he wanted to come back. There wasn’t going to be a youth movement at that point. The plan didn’t work and then last summer that plan didn’t work. Rob’s intentions have always been to be in L.A. (In 2006), he didn’t know. He thought he might have two or three or four or five years left, but his career plan was always to retire as a King. Last year they asked him to waive his no-trade clause but that wasn’t something he believed in. He wanted to stay here. All the time, his plan was to stay here. He knew the plan was to help the youngsters. He’s an all-star, Norris Trophy winner, Hall of Famer. He knew of his stature and all that and what he needed to do. He and Dean had many conversations and Rob and I had many conversations.

“After the draft, we knew we had to start making a decision. I knew Rob was going to get calls. If I sent messages out there, to all 30 teams, that Rob Blake is available, I’m going to get 20 calls. Some will (offer) 3.5 million, some will offer four or five, maybe even up to six. We wanted to avoid going into July 1 without having something done. I tried to talk to Dean about this and we finally hooked up, like he said, on Sunday night. I was pretty confident Rob was the perfect fit for the role. I talked to Dean and I said, `I want to make sure you’re on board and he said, absolutely.’ We talked about the role and all that and I talked to Rob and he was completely on board with it.

“So then I wanted to go back to the Kings. I tried all day Monday, Monday afternoon and Monday night. I got a hold of (Jeff) Solomon and we talked and I said, `I’d like to talk to Dean.’ Then I’m making calls at 7 (a.m.) Tuesday, trying to get it done. I’ve got that and I’m trying to get Brad Stuart’s deal done, because once the bell rings (at 9 a.m.) I’m going to be getting 40 to 50 calls per hour for all our other clients. So I was hoping to close it out (with the Kings) before the bell rings on Tuesday. In my opinion, it should take 10 minutes. He knows his role and it’s X number of dollars. Let’s get it done. This is not a cap (maximum) team. Their payroll is probably going to be $41 or $42 million. Why are they waiting to see what these other players are going to get when we already know what the range was for Rob? I’m trying to get an answer from them and I don’t get an answer. It was so easy. So finally I just put it out there. It’s this (amount of money) and it’s this if you make the playoffs. Because that’s good motivation for a player in Rob’s position.

“So finally at 11 or noon, Dean texts me and he says that it’s important that we get this done but we can only get this done when I see what’s happening with other things. If it’s a cap (maximum) team, I would understand. But when we’re talking about a (salary cap) floor team and we’re talking about a player who is willing to give his experience and play in that role we’re talking about, I need an answer. So, Rob called Dean. He’s not a 20-year-old player. He has no problem calling the GM directly. Dean told him, `We’re not prepared to do this right now.’ How do you think that makes the asset feel? When I saw `asset,’ I mean the player. So he looked at the situation and he said, `Pat, I think it might be time to look at other offers and maybe a team that might want me for another role.’

“I didn’t want to wait until today and call teams and say, `Hey, what about Rob Blake?’ and have them say, `It’s too late, I’m already at 52 (million).’ I’m not pointing fingers here. I’m just saying how it played out. It didn’t work out, but it’s OK. He will be in San Jose in a different role. Rob was drafted here and he has a lot of appreciation for the city of L.A. I’m not trying to create a soap opera here. There’s nothing personal here between Rob and myself and the Kings organization.”

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  • Someone

    As I said in another thread, DL is not going to be able to land a decent free agent. The league is now well aware of how he treats veterans. He is great with drafts and prospects, but, in a year or two when we need that one free agent to complete the team, he won’t be able to do it.

    It’s no wonder he can’t land a free agent. They don’t want to play for him!

  • John

    “Someone said:
    As I said in another thread, DL is not going to be able to land a decent free agent. The league is now well aware of how he treats veterans. He is great with drafts and prospects, but, in a year or two when we need that one free agent to complete the team, he won’t be able to do it.

    It’s no wonder he can’t land a free agent. They don’t want to play for him!”

    Then maybe we just use DL to build our system from the ground up & bring in a new GM in 3 years.

  • TweenerSongs

    Thanks for the hard work, Rich. . .you rule.

    Dean-o, however, does not. What on earth was he thinking? Many fans think Blake is this, Blake is that, that he’s over-the-hill; I disagree. When a guy like Finger is making 4mil+ for several years, don’t tell me that Blakey (and all of his influence & experience) is not worth the same. Like Pat said, it’s not as if we were pushing on the cap ceiling.

    There is absolutely no reason Dean shouldn’t have been aggressive with this deal. Blake can still play, and he’d have been a great mentor for Doughty and the others. No reason at all. Now Orpik is elsewhere, Commodore is elsewhere. . .shoot, everybody is elsewhere. Who’s left? Modry? He’s woefully average, and is hardly the player Blake is. I’ll bet we end up paying him 3mil for one year!

    I don’t know, Rich. I am fast losing my faith in Mr. Lombardi. I share his philosophy on rebuilding and the reserve list and such. . .but he’s got to remember that he’s not working this Plan in a vacuum. He has to answer to fans, you know? Without us, there’s no team. No tickets sold, no jerseys, no money.

    He should’ve gotten this deal done right away. Blake was asking for reasonable money, especially for the role they envisioned for him. Even with the “things he was trying to do”, the Kings would have remained well under the cap. I just don’t understand, and I, for one, am very disappointed in this team. And yes, it will indeed affect my disposable income.

    If our owners — the richest in the business — are forcing Dean to stay right around the cap floor, well then. . .they should sell the team to someone who cares about hockey. The league should go so far as to step in and exert some influence on the situation. It isn’t fair to the fans, many of us having been here for decades without a single winner. And it definitely is not good for the NHL, having an owner in L.A. who couldn’t care less about the game, and as a result, having a consistently poor excuse for a team (in the second-largest market).

    That’s what I think, anyway.

  • Pat McGroyn

    Brisson, Blake, Lombardi. We can all take different sides in this story, and make very valid points across the board. However, one thing we should all agree on here is: Rich Hammond did a HELLUVA job breaking & bringing this story to us today, and we are very lucky to have him covering the Kings!

  • JDM

    Great stuff Rich.

    This confirms to me one thing to me; Dean didn’t really see Rob playing many minutes, and those he would have been playing, he’d rather see someone else get.

    Sad, cause I do think Blake should have retired here.

    Oh well. C’est La Vie.

  • Hemorrhage

    Let’s see the history of Rob Blake’s history with contracts when it comes to the Kings:
    Blake acts like a child & rips the “C” off his chest.
    Blake changes his mind on a contract when Pronger gets more money.
    Blake tells the Kings he’ll test the free agent waters, gets traded, re-signs with the Av’s before testing the free agent market.
    Comes back to the Kings, doesn’t play up to his$6 million a year contract, & rejects trades two years in a row that would have helped out the Kings.
    Signs with the Sharks and now both him & his agent are trying to pull out a spin control on the whole thing with hopes his jersey will still be retired by the Kings.

    Sorry Blake, but liar, liar pants on fire. By the way your jersey isn’t going to be retired because Thomas Hickey is going to be wearing it & making #4 respectical again.

  • Dean Rules

    Screw Blake. Lombardi wasn’t confident that Blake really knew what his role was going to be on this team. Something was up and Lombardi was not feeling right about something.

  • B.

    One thing is now clear the Kings are working with AEG imposed cap of around 40-43 million. Dean could not sign Blake for 4 million and still offer 4 million a year to Stuart / Oprick. AEG is back to their old tricks. This is the reason for the new youth movement and the trading of Visnovsky.

  • anthony

    Even though I’m ecstatic that Blake wasn’t signed by DL, other problems are starting to surface.

    One of which is DL’s credibily in the league.
    He’s starting to show signs of indecisiveness.
    First with the Lubo issue and with Blake.

    I strongly believe that a GM becomes great when he excells in 3 areas.
    -Draft
    -Trades
    -Free Agency.

    No doubt, DL is exceptional when it comes down to the draft. Most of his choices, aside from Hickey, have been the right ones.

    His trades have been below average. Other than the Sully and JJ trade, and possibly Lubo (we’ll soon see), his trades have been terrible. Trading for countless draft picks is only adding intangibles to your team.

    His free agent sighnings are a lost cause. Other than Stuart and Ersberg, all he’s done is just humilate himself in the NHL. This buying out thing is wearing thin.

    I like what Chicago, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, and yes even Columbus are doing. They’re utilizing all three aspects to improve their teams. Not just placing all their hopes on the draft.
    These teams have a good mixture of youth and veterans, which is needed to make a team cup contenders.
    You just can have a team comprised of 22 and 23 years olds. That’s ridiculous.
    Whose gonna lead this team now?
    Derek Armstrong.

  • Anonymous

    “Their payroll is probably going to be $41 or $42 million”

    Is this the problem??? Rich, any chance you could ask DL about this number? I would like to know where Pat came up with that…to me that’s interesting because if that is “our” self imposed budget/cap, then we could not afford Blake at the $4M (possibly)

    NHLSCAP.COM shows us at 29+M

    If you add Blake at 4M – takes us to 33M

    Now figure…we have to sign the following RFA’s

    O’Sully, Stoll, Richardson, Moulson, Harrold, Ersberg

    O’Sully – somewhere in the 2-4M range – say 3M taking us to 36M

    Stoll – made 2.25 (something like that) last yr..possibly/roughly 3M cap hit this yr taking us to 39M

    Then insert Doughty at rookie min 875K PLUS bonuses which count this yr…taking us over 40M somewhere…maybe even in the 41-42 range???

    Now we still have to sign Richardson, Moulson, Harrold and Ersberg which together would cost us 3-5M??

    So maybe Blakes 4M will be needed on the RFA’s and thats why DL stated that he needed to work through the process…as the RFA’s are kind of an unknown until they get done…

    I think if we have a 42M cap imposed by ownership, there is no way that all the RFA’s, the draft picks (Doughty), and Blake at 4M works…

    So Rich, if you have the time to ask DL, it would be interesting to know if we do have an internal cap so to speak. Would make sense as to why Vish was moved, Blake not resigned, Cam moved (which I am all in favor for) but I just wonder in Pat let something out of the bag there, or if he was simply being hypothetical..

  • Captain Material

    Thanks for the coverage Rich. Fantastic job. Who do I write to lobby for you to get a raise or some other form of professional recognition? Seriously. I suppose the way the team has been so open with you certainly makes your job possible, but as a fan it’s been wonderful.

    On the issue here, I’m very pro-player and have been arguing why I didn’t like Blake being cast as a villain by some fans. At the same time, I think DL has been great. I think for sure he has made some mistakes, but nothing he’d done wrong had the kind of long term impact the things he has done right have, and that makes for solid positive progress.

    Reading what Brisson says here just makes it so clear how poorly DL managed this one. And it’s not like this is a he-said/she-said, what both sides are saying here are pretty much identical in terms of substance. If I’m wrong on that, someone please tell me, but it sounds like they are basically confirming each other’s accounts of what went down.

    Not like Blake not being here is a huge long term stumble, but unless the team really was not interested in Blake coming back for another year, this just screams incompetence. We are seriously going to be squeaking in just above the cap floor, and he has to think for days about giving a guy a single year deal that amounts to a pay cut and is clearly reasonable in terms of where the market is? A guy who fills a clear need we have even? Wow.

    I mean, people may think letting Blake loose is good, and that’s a valid POV, but that isn’t what DL is saying. If he really wanted the guy back, he seriously blew it here.

    And even if he didn’t want Blake back…why the heck not just represent that and avoid this drama completely? Why wouldn’t you just let Blake know prior to July 1 the team was going in a different direction? Again, wow. I mean even if you want to play off fans negative view of Blake, you’d think the better way to do that would be to outright let him go. This just screams of DL being asleep at the wheel.

    Unless of course there is something else going on. Brisson mentions the environment changing. Crowe gets the axe, DL is talking about being nudged to get “even younger”, the team cries to fans about how they are lossing money and the fans revolt about parking prices…and then suddenly we’re shedding salary and trading away some of our best players for questionable returns.

    Seems like the team heard the fans saying they wanted to see kids play and saw their opening to go seriously cheap in a way they could present as being palatable to fans.

    Wow. I really have been 100% behind DL. (Okay, maybe 99% considering the Cloutier extension, but you get the idea.) Not that losing Blake changes my mind in itself, but the way this played out really has me questioning that support now. This just was ridiculously poorly handled by DL. Whatever result he wanted in the end, keeping Blake or letting him loose, he just plain made a mess of this when it didn’t at all have to happen this way.

  • Joey

    It seems to me like Blake and Visnovsky both thought they were being treated with disrespect. And that’s a real problem if you’re trying to build a contender and have the kind of player loyalty that Dean Lombardi claims he wants. I don’t know, it just seems like Dean doesn’t approach free agency with the same level of preparation and quick thinking as he does the draft.

  • PolarBearOne

    Rich, great job once again bringing the skinny to the fans so quickly.

    As far as Blake goes, he ONCE AGAIN looks out for nobody but himself. What I happen to see here, after hearing both sides, is a player that couldn’t wait another day or two before getting the money he asked for from the team he claims he wanted to be a part of until the end of his career. Blake was WAY too impatient in waiting to see what Deano could’ve done to make this team better for ’09 (i.e. signing one or two free agents on the backend to GO ALONG WITH Blake). He saw dollar signs and bolted to No Cal.

    All those saying “Dean sucks!” “AEG sucks!” or whatever, are apparently not seeing the greed of a player that has exhibited their greed to this team once before – and everyone knows what happened when it happened the first time.

  • JonG

    I’ve vented enough today and now I’m ready to move on. How on earth will we ice an NHL-caliber team next year? Surely Dean has something cooking. My fear is that our only real option now is to make a trade, and since we won’t trade the kids we’ll have to offer Frolov.

  • Matt R

    Whatever. I don’t blame Rob for making this descision. It’s a business on both sides. When he plays in LA next season, I will cheer him for the years of great entertainment he has provided. What I won’t do is boo him for making descisions that he thinks is best for him and his family. The guy is an amazing hockey player. At this stage in his career, he is better than anyone of you leaving comments about bad he is. When he plays in LA, I will cheer him for the great player he was and is, and for the great husband, father and man he is. I think the rest of you should do the same.

  • Moondoggie

    This isn’t the first time Blake has left the Kings for the almighty $$, but it will fortunately be the last. He didn’t seem to mind collecting the 6 mil for his subpar play last year and has no problem bolting for a bigger paycheck paid out by a competitor. Personally, I don’t want to see his jersey hung in the rafters next to the likes of Gretzky, Dionne, Taylor & Vachon, Kings of honor. He doesn’t belong up there. I do hope Hickey wears No. 4, that is if Kings management has the brass kahones to let him wear that sweater.

    Time to move on, he was a poor example for our youth last year and really seemed not to have his heart in many of the games he played. Youth be served, bring on the kids….we’ll suffer for awhile, after all, we’re all Kings fans. But in the end, the pipeline of youth that is feeding this team is going to bring LA a lot of victories……

  • afx114

    Rich, you are amazing. Unfortunately, so amazing that I’m afraid you’ll lose your access!!

  • Chief

    On behalf of all Kimgs fans, I think I can give a big THANK YOU RICH! Your work is beyond description to all of us fans. This is just another scoop we’ve not heard in years past and you bring it to us. Your greatly appreciated and please never leave us!

  • scofield

    If you only have a few years left get as much as you can,everyone leaving their opinon on this blog would do the same.Rob bring your ear plugs when you come back!

  • simonsez

    Why is no one considering the idea that DL has been working on a major TRADE, as opposed to signing a free agent?

    “We’re looking at some other things and if I do some other things, it might take me out of (the range of Blake’s offer).”

    As of Wed/Thur, this was still DL’s position. Stuart & Orpik were gone. So taken at face value, DL could only mean that he’s working on TRADES that, along with the RFA contracts he needs to sign, would take him close to the cap.

    So one of two things is going on: either management/ownership is cheap and wants to nickel & dime Rob Blake to stay as close as possible to the floor, or DL has been looking to make a trade that we have no clue about.

    The latter sounds more realistic to me. Hopefully he pulls it off & redeems himself.

  • Ben

    Rich, fantastic work. Truly fantastic.

  • Jonny

    So I’ve ahd time to think this over and here’s where I stand. $mil for Blake seemed high… but the fact that there was a playoff bonus involved, and the fact that money talks, it would have been a good deal. If Blake was to get more money for getting us to the playoffs, he would have been pushing the younger guys, and playing his butt off. Another unfortunate thing, his Agent represents Kopitar and Johnson.. what an ugly business.

    By the way- AEG owns the Galaxy (LA Soccer Team) The rumors are that they offered Brazilian Superstar Ronaldinho a 12million euro a year contract, plus 12million euros for his image rights, plus 18million euros for a transfer fee. So AEG is willing to spend 30million euros, plus 12million euros a year, but somehoe they’re losing money? Not to mention the David Beckham contract…. WOW

  • Jonny

    Just to add on my last comment real quick… the 30 million euros that AEG would pay just for a transfer and image rights to the soccer player, equals 47.6 american dollars. That’s more then the kings whole cap hit.

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

    So wait, because the Kings are not a salary cap team, they’re mandated to overpay for a player?

    So because I can afford 6 dollars per gallon of gas, I should pay it?

    Brisson, all I can say is, GIVE ME A FRIGGIN BREAK.

  • Paul

    As many others have said, Rich, you’re the best!

    I dunno what to make of all this stuff. But I don’t like how it sounds that Blake tried to force the Kings hand, presumably because they were a “floor team”, so throwing $4M at an aging defnesemen was supposed to be easy?

    I don’t blame Dean for saying “I have to see what’s out there and where the Kings are before I commit to Blake”. Good for him. He may not be spending to the NHL salary cap, but he may have a team imposed cap that could’ve prevented him for throwing $4M at Blake and $4M or $5M at another defenseman.

    I also don’t begrudge Blake all that much in this matter. I know a lot of Blake haters will say he’s greedy. Well, yeah. He should be. Hockey players don’t have 50 years to make their money. They have 15-20. Now granted, he’s made a lot of money, but so what. Anyone who throws stones at the guy for wanting to make the most money he can while the opportunities are out there is just a hypocrite. You’ll all go to work this week believing you’re underpaid, but you’ll bag on a guy who wants to make the most money he can because he makes a lot more then you. Deal with it.

    I wish Blake had signed in the Eastern Conference, or at least with a team outside the Pacific Division, but that’s how it goes. The good news is we beat up on the guppies last year, so hopefully we can do it again this year. And all you Blake haters can cheer every time a Kings player lays a check into Blake, and boo every time he touches the puck. Till the Sharks trade Blake back to L.A. at the trade deadline. ;)

  • What the Hay is going on???

    Is this typical La Kings hockey or what? For being a pro team this whole situation w/ free agents is being unprofessionally handled.

    What is Dean and Soloman doing on a daily basis to not answer phone calls, be proactive in sealing up deals and treating veterans w/ some repect? Now we have to give up some players in a trade that we could have used to keep both Lubo and Blake especially when we’re below the cap as it is.

    Will anyone come to LA knowing this? Things are so bad,not even washed up vets will entertain retirement here anymore, let alone younger vets who will help this team when the time comes.

    In addition, our “youth” are going to be getting older and will be leaving in their prime. The “kids” are learning that this team has a sucky way of handling players, are tighter than a fishe’s culo, and will get rid of players at the drop of a hat once their earned and deserving contracts take aeg out of the cap floor.

    Aeg is a terrible organization concerned w/ everything else but hockey, and I demand that they sell the Kings immediately to someone who cares and loves hockey. Cheap skates.

  • OldKingsFan

    Hey, What are your thoughts on this? Your reporting has been great and as a reporter closest to the situation give us your insight.

    I believe we are setting ourselves up for the Traveres sweepstakes. We will definitely be a younger team.

    In the words of Vince Lombardi(obviously no relation)
    “Winning is a habit unfortunately so is losing”.
    Who is on this roster to teach us a winning attitude?

    I think the Blake deal will come back to bite us in years to come. Some agents done forgot how their assets were treated in the past.

    Keep up the great work. Hopefully we will see you at the prospect camp. I’ll buy you a soft drink.

  • deano

    DL really dropped the ball on this one. This was a slam dunk if he had only put a little bit of effort in with Blakey. What happened to the importance of mentoring with the right people. Breeding these Kings for life, and creating a championship organization. What BS, this is just turning into a bunch of rhetoric at this point. If he has to run through the numbers to see if we can sign Blake at 4 mil, and we are this far from the cap floor, then we are in trouble as a franchise. Is ownership trying to alienate the fans so they can move the team to KC? Lombardi better get his ass into gear and pull off something big because that shiny polish from the draft is getting tarnished pretty quickly with his poor free agent period.

  • Backofthenet

    This may be a bit hard to understand for some, but this when Dean said he was not ready to do this, it was not just because of cap reasons. Fo those folks that think Blake could still play 82, or even 42 games in the top 4, you’re crazy.
    He has serious injuries that will continue to come up, so he is a bottom two or a scratch for most of the season.
    Now, when we talk about “the Cap” we say it like it is just a magical number and means really nothing…but to the folks that are actually WRITING the checks, it is extremely real. Rob wants FOUR million to help mentor the youth and hopefully play. That is a tough pill to swallow.

  • Chuck

    Thanks again, Rich!

    Pat Brisson is an agent, therefore he is EVIL, making his side of the story not matter. DL probably stonewalled him. But, the bottom line is that Blake isn’t worth $5 million.

  • Crash Davis

    I agree with many that DL blundered on this one. He thought he had Blake wrapped up so he put him on hold while he looked at Stuart & Orpik and made his Gauthier trade.

    Blake didn’t want to be 4th on the list. He also figured his window of opportunity – as clearly stated by Brisson – was within 72 hours of the Free Agent/July 1 date. It was crunch time for teams to sign FA’s. And to be fair, Brisson’s suggestion of $4mil seemed reasonable considering Rob’s role, his previous salary and market rates.

    To be clear, San Jose wanted Blake more than the Kings. And they showed it by aggressively pursuing him and topping even Blake’s amount. If I was Blake, I’d have taken the offer too.

    Someone once asked Alexander The Great how he conquered the known world. His quick answer was – “by not hesitating.”

    Memo to Lombardi: next time, don’t hesitate. Do it.

  • Crash Davis

    Another thought after posting about Blake.

    It’s widely considered that Lombardi was fired (along with Darryl Sutter as coach) for the poor start the Sharks had a 4-5 years back. That bad start was complicated by a contentious preseason holdout by Nabakov that DL mismanaged.

    For all the praise DL gets for drafting and trading (and rightly so), the chink in his armor seems to be how he negotiates contracts with veterans. I can’t speak for the man, but if his approach is entirely methodical – turning over every stone while he takes his time – then he’s gonna lose some people because he didn’t move fast enough. Opportunity waits for no man.

    Just ask Pat Brisson and Rob Blake.

  • Pat Conacher

    It seems like Blake wasn’t DL’s first option. I’m glad he wasn’t. Also, it looks like Blake wanted to get a deal done sooner than later. Can’t blame him for that with other players being picked up. Nonetheless, Blake isn’t worth 5 mil. DL didn’t value him at 4 mil. I don’t know how vocal he is at the leadership role in the locker room, but I don’t get the mentor vibe from him. The way things played out, I think it’s a blessing in disguise. We don’t have a captain that abandons his position to lead by example. We don’t have to complain about an over the hill and overpaid player. The stars were aligned and Blake is gone costing 5 mil. to San Jose’s cap. Better yet, it looks like San Jose stole him from us. Let him rack up his -15 rating up north. It’s a win win.

  • CBGB

    Rich,

    You’re the best thing to happen to Kings fans since Michael Zampelli started letsgokings.com

    Sorry if I ruffled your feathers yesterday… its what I do.

    I’m not surprised that Pat Brisson didn’t call or text Dean and/or Jeff Solomon and say, “Look, I have a 5 million dollar offer from San Jose. Rob is willing to take less to stay here” – but you didn’t hear that from Pat.

    Maybe San Jose said “We need an answer TODAY”

    One thing is certain but what Pat Brisson said. Brad Stuart had NO intention of re-signing with the Kings.

    Does this make Dean a liar?

    Rob Blake was the Kings Captain. It seems that Dean dod NOT treat Rob with the respect he deserved and Rob Blake did not treat the Kings with the respect THEY deserved.

    Life goes on.

    I will boo.

  • Gary

    Like Anonymous said, DL may have a budget he won’t go over. I’m glad Blake is not going to be back. I appreciate what he’s done for the Kings, but I don’t think he was a fit with next year’s team. Give him a standing ovation next time he comes to Staples intstead of the boos, like last time he left.

  • Sybil227

    Sorry, that’s just pitiful. What’s the big hurry? If it goes to July 10th, Rob’s life is over? Was somebody holding a gun to head? Get real. We paid Rob $6.5M last year – which was $5M more than he deserved for the season he had. If waiting up to one week for Lombardi to get his ducks in a row is too much ask – good riddance!!!!
    Chase your money again, Rob. We know loyalty is waaaay too much to ask of you.

  • steve

    I believe that DL is a better player personnel/development guy than a GM. I agree with the earlier post- let him do the development and then fire his a– when the team is ready to compete but needs a Brian Burke to get us over the hump

  • Anonymous

    And this is who Dean has to negotiate with for Anze and JJ? We be screwed.

  • Romero

    let me get this straight. brisson KNEW that “If I sent messages out there, to all 30 teams, that Rob Blake is available, I’m going to get 20 calls.” then he must have known that there was no pressure to get a deal done. i call BS. this is only an issue because it is SJ. if the rangers make the same offer do you think that Blake takes the $$. i doubt it. the bottom line is Blake was gonna get his money from DL. he just changed his mind AGAIN and decided that competing for a cup this year and making more $$ was more fun than mentoring a bunch of kids. as much as i dislike the guy i can’t blame him. looks like SJ is adding Boyle today. maybe all this translates into them making it out of the 2nd round.
    DL didn’t screw this up. he needed to fit a vet into his budget and needed time to make other deals. not cater to a aging character vet with limited options. it’s obvious that the man is committed to a particular direction and will not be pressured or bullied by anyone. I’m not really all that pissed that Blake is gone. hopefully in a year or two the Kings are in a place where they can overpay to add those pieces in the way SJ is doing now.

  • Duckhunter

    My question now is, and this is for DL or all the Kings fans that have been bashing Blake, Lubo, Cammi, Stuart before he left etc……….

    WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BLAME NEXT YEAR WHEN WE ARE IN THEE SAME SITUATION?

    Can’t blame the coach, he,s gone! Can’t blame the veterans, their gone! Can’t blame the big contracts, their gone! So who are we going to blame next year?

    Just a point to ponder!

  • Brian

    Ya I gotta say that my respect for DL is rapidly dissolving… Brisson said it all when it’s NOT a cap team. we’re not going to sign anyone else worth a damn. There’s absolutley no reason not to bring Blake back if it’s an option, DL can’t through out the money thing, it would have been a one year contract anyways… We’re going to suck just as much as we did last year.

    I tell ya, this little magic show better have a damn good finale…

  • Crash Davis

    Romero, you bring up a very good point: “(DL) needed to fit a vet into his budget and needed time to make other deals. not cater to an aging character vet with limited options. it’s obvious that the man is committed to a particular direction and will not be pressured or bullied by anyone.”

    I stand corrected by my previous post(s). Look at it from DL’s viewpoint: On July 1 he gets a phone call from Brisson that Blake’s price is $4 mil, NON-NEGOTIABLE. How would you like to be a GM who brought back Blake by overpaying at $6 mil per for 2 seasons and now be told he’s 38 and wants $4 mil. Take it or leave it. Brisson played hardball. This was NOT a 10 minute easy deal for a team with tons of cap space.

    Leaving timing out of the equation, it comes down to this: Blake and Lombardi were not on the same page. Blake wanted premium $$$’s for an aging vet. DL wanted a price south of $4 mil. Other hockey writers are editorializing that SJ paid too much for a fading Blake. Now Sharks are after a $6 mil + Boyle. They wanna win NOW.

    So, Blake took the money and ran. If you’re rebuilding, that $4 mil can be used more effectively elsewhere. This was just business after all.

  • IF SULLY’S GONE I AM DONE WITH THIS TEAM

    I remember someone saying how much the kings need Rob Blake.. how he belongs in a king uniform. what the hell DL.. these young kids needed him and you told us two years ago when you signed him for rediculous cash that he belongs here and should have never left.. I dont understand this guy… Rich you are the best.. I am going to find you this year at the games and buy you a drink… My god.. I know I am going to need alot of them this season

  • Bob Bobson

    It sounds like both Dean and Blake’s agent are presenting the same story albeit from different points of view. I think it is a shame the way this went down. I really cannot understand how Dean cannot afford a 1 yr $4MM contract unless his budget is the cap floor. This is especially true when he knows how hard it is to bring free agents here to help the kids along. I do not care too much for Blake and I think even $4MM is steep so I am fine with the outcome. My problem is the way Dean handled it !

    Even though it is a business and people say Visnovsky should shut up, take his money and go elsewhere, it sounds like Blake saw what happened and decided do the same. Maybe good free agents around the NHL are looking at this and doing the same as well. Dean was within his rights to trade Visnovsky before his NTC kicked in and it is now within the rights of good free agents to skip on the Kings because of it.

  • Crash Davis

    Last add: with Nabakov behind him and Boyle next to him, any inconsistencies by Blake will be masked next year. He will be part of a better overall team, not one struggling through 7 goaltenders, throwing the kids out onto the ice or dealing with character issues.

    On the Sharks, Blakes doesn’t have to be great, just good. He can still do that. For now.

    It’s amazing how much better one looks when playing on a winning team.

  • Scott

    So what’s wrong with waiting, by both parties??? I can completely see why DL would want to take some time to see if some other things pan out. Does any one remember a situation with a certain goaltender that he hastily signed?? Remember how well that one worked? So what’s wrong with him wanting to make sure it was the right move? If Blake was supposedly so loyal to this franchise, why couldn’t he wait a day or two to make it work? And I’ll bet you almost anything that if his a-hole agent didn’t call right up with an inflexible salary request/demand, that DL would have given more consideration. No one likes ultimatums, not even for a future hall of famer…

  • stickboy

    Again….Brisson…(French guy), said something very interesting in the end of his comment below:
    “There’s nothing personal here between Rob and myself and the Kings organization.”
    HMM? Does anyone know what that means?
    And….he also states that he was such a busy guy with all of his other players that he wanted to get RB done…sounds like yet another agent not really doing the right thing for his player. O boo hoo….how long does it take to make a couple of phone calls and reap the 3% of 5Mil. And also…all those other phone calls…were really only one….San Jose.
    The way I see it, it all backfired on Blake and his agent and their scheme of getting more money from the KINGS. I mean really people…take this for what it is worth. Lombardi did the right thing..period. And as far as treating vets badly…that doesn’t really stick as he paid Blake $12 mill for 2 seasons for what? Blake just doesn’t fit anymore…period.

  • Someone

    For those of you claiming that Blake is greedy, please re-read all that Rich has painstakingly written. Blake was offered $5 million to play in SJ. He offered the Kings an opportunity to keep him at $4 million.

    He was willing to forfeit $1,000,000 to play for the Kings. How many of you would give up a million dollars for the Kings?

    You are so blinded by your hate.

  • Quisp

    To Duckhunter re “WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BLAME NEXT YEAR WHEN WE ARE IN THEE SAME SITUATION? Can’t blame the coach, he,s [sic] gone! Can’t blame the veterans, their [sic] gone! Can’t blame the big contracts, their [sic] gone! So who are we going to blame next year? Just a point to ponder!”

    The Kings are rebuilding. I assume the “same situation” you refer to is not making the playoffs and being one of the bottom five teams in the league. That’s possible but not likely. Making the playoffs is also possible. Depends on where the kids are. Because we’re rebuilding with the kids.

    You don’t have to “blame” Blake, Lubo or Cammy for the “situation” in order to see that they are not part of the plan for the future.

  • Gordon Gekko

    GREED IS GOOD. (NOT)

    Another example of “professionals” acting ‘erroneously professional.’

    SHAME ON ALL THREE OF THEM!

    If this is how it’s supposed to happen, I’d rather not know. Ugly, yes. Soap opera. exactly.

    {Better negotiations take place over at the local park between 8 year olds.}

    The only one’s acting professional at this point, is Rich, and the remaining Kings players for ‘being team players.’

    Happy 4th everyone. And, may the tyranny and oppression of todays’ gas gouging, Kings bashing society, not affect a healthy consumption of your favorite malted beverage and dead animal.

    GO KINGS!

  • Quisp

    And now SJ trades Matt Carle, a prospect and a 1st rounder for Dan Boyle. So does anybody think the Kings should have signed Blake and traded (what’s the equivalent?) Martinez and Moller and next year’s first round pick for another aging overpriced frequently injured guy with a cup ring? Because some folks are already saying SJ gave up too much and got hosed.

    Of course, there are also people saying that, with Rob Blake and Dan Boyle quarterbacking the powerplay, SJ will be a force in the West. But really, is that an upgrade over Blake and Lubo? Not really. Actually, it’s kind of exactly the same.

    I for one am looking forward to playing SJ this year.

  • brianguy

    Hemorrhage, bravo…

  • brianguy

    “When he plays in LA, I will cheer him for the great player he was and is, and for the great husband, father and man he is. ”

    blah blah blah… you’re either his wife or next door neighbor. point NOT taken. NEXT

  • IF SULLY’S GONE I AM DONE WITH THIS TEAM

    I remember someone saying how much the kings need Rob Blake.. how he belongs in a king uniform. what the hell DL.. these young kids needed him and you told us two years ago when you signed him for rediculous cash that he belongs here and should have never left.. I dont understand this guy… Rich you are the best.. I am going to find you this year at the games and buy you a drink… My god.. I know I am going to need alot of them this season

  • Straight Talk

    Here’s the more likely scenario of what really happened.

    Blake has always said that he wants to stay close to home. This means that his choices for teams would necessarily have to be limited to LA, Ducks, and SJ. (Outside shot at Phoenix.)

    So, his agent has a pretty solid deal lined up with SJ. SJ tells the agent that they are worried that their plan B may go sign somewhere else, so SJ gives them a deadline to do the deal or the deal goes away.

    Blake wants to play on a West Coast team. If SJ goes away, and LA doesn’t come through, Blake must retire or play on a team away from his home base.

    DL is posturing on other deals and cannot readily commit to Blake at that time (and he doesn’t want to spend more than 3.0 mil)

    So…Blake had to play a hand, based on circumstances.
    That’s really how it likely played out.

  • TeamHasHoles

    Crash Davis said:
    On the Sharks, Blake doesn’t have to be great, just good. He can still do that. For now.

    Actually, he has to be ON THE ICE! You’re assuming health for 82 games. Big assumption with a 38/39 year old who plays a physical style.

  • Crash Davis

    TeamHasHoles, you’re right. Blake has to remain healthy to be worth his $5 mil to the Sharks. Someone else posted something to the effect of “which Blake will SJ get? The one in the first half of last season returning from injury and ineffective? Or the second half of the season Blake who started to return to form?”

    If Blake has a significant injury, or finds his skills diminishing as faster forwards get past him, then SJ tremendously overpaid for an aging vet, leadership abilities or not.

    Then again, winning may rejuvenate him.

  • -J

    In the words of Vince Lombardi(obviously no relation)
    “Winning is a habit unfortunately so is losing”.
    Who is on this roster to teach us a winning attitude?

    This will probably get lost in all this, but i think this is an important point, important in that the organization is filled with guys from successful teams (eg. they know how to win) …..

    Thomas Hickey- 2008 U20 WC Gold
    Jack Johnson- 2004 U18 WC Silver, 2005 U18 WC Gold, 2007 U20 WC Bronze
    Patrick O’Sullivan- 2002 U18 WC Gold, 2004 U20 WC Gold
    Alexander Frolov- 2002 U20 WC Gold, 2007 WC Bronze
    Jarret Stoll- 2002 U20 WC Silver (Captain)
    Vyacheslav Voinov- 2007 U18 WC Gold, 2007 U20 WC Silver, 2008 U18 WC Silver, 2008 U20 WC Bronze
    Andrey Loktionov- 2007 U18 WC Gold, 2008 U20 WC Silver
    Marc-Andre Cliche- 2007 U20 WC Gold,
    Jeff Zatkoff- 2007 U20 WC Bronze,
    Trevor Lewis- 2007 U20 WC Bronze
    Oscar Moller- 2007 U18 WC Bronze, 2008 U20 WC Silver
    Jonathan Bernier- 2008 U20 WC Gold
    Drew Doughty- 2008 U20 WC Gold
    Wayne Simmonds- 2008 U20 WC Gold
    Colton Teubert- 2008 U18 WC Gold
    Brian Boyle- 2006 NCAA Northeast Regional winner, NCAA championship Runner up, Hockey East Champion, 2007 NCAA Northeast Regional winner, NCAA championship Runner up (Captain)
    Peter Harrold- 2006 NCAA Northeast Regional winner, NCAA championship Runner up (Captain)
    Matt Greene- 2005 NCAA East Regional winner, NCAA championship Runner up (Captain)

    This isn’t an all inculsive list, i know there’s a bunch of guys i’ve left off and some other titles (like Cliche (Captain) and Bernier leading Lewiston to the QMJHL Championship) and captaincies (and assistant C’s) missing, but hopefully you get the point.

  • Anonymous

    It has ALWAYS been a Soap Opera with Rob Blake.

    And, his agent stated it best: Rob Blake is an “Asset.” Though out his entire career, he’s either been the highest paid or amongst the highest paid defensmen in the league. The guy has ALWAYS made his money and things clearly weren’t going to change this year.

    That’s why fans were so upset about him not waiving his No Trade Clause last season. And, his agent has the audacity to suggest that Blake didn’t do it b/c he “didn’t believe in that.” Oh, but he CERTAINLY believes in bailing when a higher dollar amount is thrown in his face.

    Here’s the fact, Blake not only screwed the Kings the first time he bailed (and there was plenty of drama that time as well, including ripping the “C” off of his jersey), but again last season by refusing to be traded , only to bail a second time and sign with another team.

    Oh yea, when he comes back to Staples: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  • Quisp

    Well, SJ is in a different place with different standards than the Kings. They must get at least to the Conference Finals to even begin to feel good about themselves. Just as DL must weigh every decision against the question, “will this move work for me in ’09/’10/’11 and the team I’m trying to build for that?”, the Sharks question is “will this move get me to the cup NOW so that people will stop thinking of the Sharks as a team that should have been better but always choked in the playoffs?” Losing Campbell and gaining Blake and Boyle is NOT a move that gets SJ closer to the cup. Therefore, it’s bad for them.

  • B.

    The worst thing about Blake leaving is at the trade deadline SJ allegedly offered Earhoff, 1st, and Bernier for Blake, and he would not waive his no trade clause to go anywhere other then the Avs.

  • danny

    tsn is reporting that dan boyle has been traded to the sharks pending league approval.

  • Duckhunter

    Quisp, I’m just talking about all bashing thats been going on here. I personally like what’s going on with a talent pool that DL is piling up. I’m just not bitter like some about Blake, Lub, Cammi, Stuart and their desired salaries. Some are acting like little teenie-bobbers here. Like their first love just ran off with another city. Just doesn’t make sesnse to me. Most people seemed to not want Blake back, but now that he left, everyone is calling foul.

    Is DL making these choices or is he being handcuffed? I personally don’t know. I’m GUESSING AEG is the BIGGER problem. If thats the case there’s nothing us fans can do about it, but I sure would like to see a different owner.

  • TeamHasHoles

    Then again, winning may rejuvenate him.

    Winning can rejuvenate the mind… but at 38/39, it can’t do much for the body, and the body is all I’m really talking about. The guy had hip surgery at 37/38 years old, I’m just sayin’.

  • Quisp

    Duckhunter –

    I agree. However, re AEG, though it’s possible they are a problem, future cap considerations are reason enough to limit our spending now. AEG may be putting additional pressure on DL, but what would that be? Not to go up to the cap with one year deals? Could be. But again, even THAT would effect development, since it would be taking away ice time from young players. Also, once you stop looking at A-list UFAs which command big salaries and long contracts, the money we’re talking about (for lesser UFAs) necessarily becomes very affordable, and to that extent it’s doable even in the scenario in which AEG is putting problematic pressure on DL. For that reason, I don’t think AEG can really be getting in DL’s way as far as signings go.

  • Al

    Someone said, “Who do we have to teach us how to win” Well my friend it sure as hell wasn’t Blake, Cammalleri, Crawford or any of the assistant coaches, who taught the Capitals how to win?? If you don’t think that these kids coming in don’t want to win and they are only satisfied with getting to the NHL you don’t know “Jack$–t”. There will always be that 5-10% that will be satisfied but for the rest of them, this is their chance to fulfill the dream of having their name on the Stanley Cup. These kids that DL and DT brought into this team will run through walls to win. I dare you tell Brownie he doesn’t know how to win, or JMFJ or Fro. These kids have the talent, all they need is a staff of leaders behind the bench who can give then the plan required to win and they will execute it. The desire to win is one of the largest assets a hockey player has, no matter if it is pee-wee, bantam, Jrs or pond hockey.

  • Dave K

    There are some interesting parallels between the Blake episode and the Crawford saga. Both incidents appear to highlight DL’s decisionmaking process. The characteristic that stands out is DL’s tendency to vacillate and hem and haw based on whatever his gut is telling him.

    In Crawford’s case (which was absolutely the right decision, no question), DL seemed to imply when the season ended that Crawford would be returning. Then he pulls a stunner and fires him two months later. This was based on a “hunch” that Crow wouldn’t be the right guy after ownership bought into the ultra youth movement.

    In Blake’s case, a similar dynamic occurs. DL says he wants him back, with the caveat that Blake fully understands what his role will be and embraces it 100%. Somewhere over the past few days, DL must have gotten the idea (or hunch) that Blake was not entirely with the program. DL then says he’s not prepared at the moment to meet Blake’s salary request. While there may be some merit to DL’s claim that he needed to first see how things shake out with other players before committing to Blake’s $4 mil demand, it just seems that DL made his decision on a “gut feeling”.

    I’m not dismissing the importance of going with your hunch — we all rely on it to some degree when making decisions — but it just strikes me as a “fly by the seat of your pants” approach. And who knows, maybe letting Blake go won’t be such a great loss and the young d-men will do just fine without a veteran of Blake’s caliber. But I think these two episodes tell us a lot about DL’s thought process. Something to keep in mind when other huge issues reach DL’s desk in the months ahead.

  • gsmith

    AHLer DENIS GAUTHIER TO BE PAID 2.2 Million Next Year!

    There’s your clue. Figure the rest out yourselves.

  • brianguy

    B: exactly true, and anyone conveniently looking past that is ignoring the facts and not looking at the big picture. what a baby

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