More from Lombardi

OK, as promised, Lombardi called back, and now I have much more detail on the situation with Patrick O’Sullivan. First…I wrote this in a deliberately vague way before, because I wasn’t certain of the facts, but O’Sullivan is NOT “holding out,” or any variation of the term. The Kings have requested that he not attend training camp until a deal is done. Lombardi explains, in the interview, why that’s the case. Second, when asked directly for an update on the contract negotiations, Lombardi said, “We’re not very close. That’s the truth.” Here’s the entire interview…

———-

Question: Just to clarify, whose decision was it to not have Patrick in camp?

LOMBARDI: “Ours. I’m not going to pin that on the kid. I’ve had it both ways (with unsigned players). I think (Brad) Stuart did come in and I think (Patrick) Marleau didn’t. My experience is that we’re better off getting it done and not letting it drag on and be an issue in camp. It becomes…not a distraction, but a peripheral issue with the players. We need to make sure that everybody in there is on board. That’s not to say he doesn’t want to be on board, but until you’re signed, you’re not on the ship.

“I certainly communicated this to the agent today. We’re still talking, and that’s the good thing. This hasn’t stopped us from talking. That’s the good thing. Putting the (contract) numbers aside, it’s good to have a face-to-face meeting with me and the player, to let him know that even though we might differ on the numbers, it’s not that he’s not wanted. That can happen, particularly with young players, where they think, `Oh, they don’t want me,’ and that’s certainly not the case. Unfortunately, Sully is out of town right now, but I’m going to have to work something out so that we can talk here soon.”

Question: You mentioned how situations like this can sometimes turn negative. Is there any risk of this turning into any type of repeat of the Cammalleri situation from last year?

LOMBARDI: “That’s very different, because it was very clear where (Cammalleri) saw himself, through what he was demanding. There was no chance we were going to be able to keep him if he stayed here. That’s not the case here with Sully. To me, it wasn’t the (arbitration) hearing itself. The scar is there from the hearing, but those heal. The issue, to me, is that he immediately became a one-year asset. I don’t like the term `asset’ because it dehumanizes the player, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to be here (long term). So that’s why, if it takes a little time to do it right, you’ve got to do it. If you try to go for the short-term fix, contractually, it’s eventually going to bite you in the ass.”

Question: The two big questions out there are, “How close are you?” and “Are you worried?”

LOMBARDI: “A little honesty…We’re not very close. That’s the truth. What I’m most concerned about is, Sully has made great strides but he has to continue to make strides if he’s going to put up big numbers on a good team. There’s a big difference between being a 50- or 60-point scorer on a team that’s out of the playoffs in January, and doing it on a good team.

“Let’s get real. It was just 14 months ago — 14 months, 16 months, whatever it was — that we had to put him in the minors. To his credit…he sulked at first but then he figured it out, earned his way up and proved himself. But there’s another step you have to take in order to be a good player on a good team. My concern is that this is not the time for him to be sitting on the sideline.”

Question: Are you surprised about how difficult this has been?

LOMBARDI: “When I saw where his (contract) number was two months ago, I said, `Oh boy.’ With (Jarret Stoll), at least we were in the band. When I say `in the band’…you look at comps and you look at cap figures, and there’s a band that you’re willing to work within. At first with Stolly, it wasn’t where we wanted it but you could see the potential of a deal. On this one, when it started two months ago, I went, `Oh boy.’ The good thing is, usually when you’re outside the band, you’re not even talking. At least we’re talking.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Deano Lombardo

    POS!

  • ryan oliver

    Wow, thanks Rich. I’m harvesting right now and I thought I was putting in some long hours. We definatly appreciate it. And DL is right. 14 months ago he was in the MINORS!! Sign a long term deal for around 3.5 mil a year, and you still have 10 + years for your free agent monster contract.

  • Dorian

    So training camp starts tomorrow and Sully is not even in town??? hmmm.

  • JDM

    Well not at all what I wanted to hear, but it’s pretty frank and to the point for the wordy Lombardi.

    Thanks for gathering this info Rich, it definately helps to have some clear word on the ongoing situation.

    Sucks that they aren’t close, but like he said, they are talking, so this isn’t a Meszaros situation as of now. Interesting point about Sully not being proven to put up points on a good team, and an awesome point that a little over a year ago he was sent down to the minors. I wonder if part of the debate is DL saying “Sully, we don’t know that you can do this on a good team.” And Sully responding “Fine, but the Kings aren’t a very good team.”

    Hopefully that’s not the case, but this definately points to Sully asking for too much money. I still have gut feeling and hope that this contract will get worked out before things go sour or we are forced to trade him.

  • _42

    Rich, you’re awesome, giving us updates at 10 o’clock! I’d say stop working once in a while but apparently I’m here looking for it so thanks for doing this for us.

    I have to admit I’m worried. DL sounds candid but it’s tough to judge without hearing the tone. How bad do you think the situation is? Is DL losing sleep over it (figuratively speaking)? Do you get the vibe that DL will make Sully miss half the season if needed? It seems like by waiting this long, now he can’t give him what he wants because that will just encourage the situation to repeat next year.

  • tired of waiting

    Why does this situation always seem to happen to the Kings. Do you think it is because players think that this is a sh-t franchise and they want out? I am tired of hearing excuses. We were told that we should trade Demitra for this kid and now after one season he is on his way out of town.

    Dont the Kings remind you of the LA Clippers. Always excuses about how we dont understand why all these players leave and why players demand unreasonable salaries from us but then miracously sign for reduced prices in Detroit. (see Brad Stuart)

    The bottom line is that this is a crap franchise with ownership that is not committed to winning. Players arent stupid, they know that the Kings will never win sh-t until there is a change of ownership. I say bring back the donut eating fat man who fabricated the worth of baseball cards and horses and defrauded
    BofA. At least he wanted to build a winner in LA

  • Quisp

    I now believe that I am absolutely right about the game of chicken that’s being played. Unless POS is just an ass and has an insanely overinflated sense of his own worth, he’s being led down the garden path by his agent who must believe that he has an advantage in the negotiation because of the salary floor issue (which, yes, I know is not supposed to be a problem if you actually add up the numbers, but I keep looking at the numbers and even with estimating bonuses for Doughty, etc., it looks like it could be problematic without POS’s salary assumed).

    Therefore, I think the agent may be the one who is being too clever by half, telling his client not to worry, some version of “DL will blink, he needs your salary on the books and he has to worry about the signal it will send to his other players who are my clients if you don’t sign.”

    The other reason I think this is the case is that DL is driving a wedge between client and agent, specifically saying “it’s not the kid” meanwhile “until you sign you’re not on the ship.” i.e. the ship is leaving without you. You were in the minors a year and a half ago.

  • Tired of Waiting

    Why does everyone assume that this holdout is the fault of POS and his agent. His agents job is to get the most for his client. However, remember earlier this summer Lombardi said that POS was in the same “band” as Backes. The Backes who scored 13 goals last year.

    I am more inclined to believe that it is the cheap ass Kings (errr Clippers) who are nickle and diming POS

    This is what bad franchises do. When will the Kings fans stop buying tickets

  • Marc Nathan

    I’m not going to call it revisionist history, but he was sent to the minors because Crawford had his head up his ass as to what to do with O’Sullivan, and really didn’t give him the opportunities to succeed that he eventually succumbed to. O’Sullivan came off a monster year in the AHL, and probably did have some attitude adjusting to deal with, but his talent was evident right from the get go, and while many Kings fans thought he was far from a lock, there were some who stepped out and said that he was obviously offensively gifted and he just needed to shake the monkey off his back and the light would come on. The fact is, the Kings have been retarded enough over the past few years that the opportunity for a number of guys to succeed has been stilted, and O’Sullivan’s rookie campaign was a magnification of that.

    Also, it’s not so much now that his numbers are out of whack, it’s more that the Kings got Brown at such a cut-rate price that over the next year or so it’s going to be hard to justify paying guys like O’Sullivan so much more than Brown… though realistically, O’Sullivan’s upside offensively is greater than even Kopitar… you’ll see… I think I said that first about 2 years and a month ago :)

  • gumlegs

    Lets see if I have got this.
    DL: I am insisting on a long term contract and since there are a lot of questions about your worth due to your inexperience and your playing for a rotten team, a fair salary for you would be low.
    POS Agent: Fine. If that is your stance then we will sign a short term contract and POS will establish his worth.
    DL: We are not interested in a short term contract and are unwilling to let POS establish his value in a short term deal. You must sign a long term contract even though there remain questions about POS’s value in the later years of the contract.

    What is wrong with this picture?

  • JDM

    Quisp, I agree.

    tired of waiting, this is up for debate but I think Stuart signed for fair market value in Detroit, and in fact would have signed sooner except that at first Holland wasn’t willing to pony up. If Holland hadn’t, all signs point to Stuart signing here for about the same money he ended up getting in Detroit.

    Its not so much that I disagree with your point so much as I think its a bad example.

  • KingsFan19

    I am disappointed that this impasse still exists and they seem no closer to finaliziing his contract. IF Sully isn’t signed in the next few days, I believe he’ll be going somewhere else very soon.

    The coaches and other players need to have everyone in place from Day 1 for Murray’s plan to work at maximum efficiency. Obviously, Meehan doesn’t give a crap about that. I wonder if Sully does?

    Is Sully just another player who is full of himself and has an over-inflated opinion of himself? Is he buying into the hype that I believe his agent is undoubtedly forcing into his ear canal? At this point, I question his comittment to the Kings. Does he have the tattoo or not? If he doesn’t, it’s time for him to fly!

    Meehan (POS’s Agent) is also the agent for Frolov, Richardson, Doughty, Kopitar, along with O’Sullivan. So it looks like we’ll go down this road yet again when Frolov’s and Kopitar’s contracts come due. Just another reason I believe Lombardi is playing hardball on this deal.

    I also really wonder if Sully’s agent is really acting in Sully’s best interest right now.

  • Quisp

    I like POS. I’m not saying the situation is his fault. However, the situation is within his control. He can say yes to the deal. He can instruct his agent to close the deal so he can play.

  • Duckhunter

    I don’t know what to think.

    First thought was, POS needs to get his ass to camp, and be part of something that could be special. DL response, don’t want you there, stay away.

    Second thought was POS is a greedy SOB if 3-4 million isn’t enough for any length of time. Then Gumlegs analysis makes perfect sense against DL. I don’t know what the heck to believe.

  • Duckhunter

    By the way, what is everybody doing up so late?

  • Garrett

    This interview raises two questions for me- 1) Why the hell were they not talking until 2 months ago? The Kings’ season ended 4.5 months ago. They should have been talking the day after the season ended, at the very least touching base and getting things started. 2) Why not just sign him to a very incentive-laden deal? If he scores 30 goals this year he makes a certain amount and if he scores 35 he gets more, etc, increasing each year?

    How damn hard is this? Sign him!

  • Quisp

    KingsFan19 –

    Yes, absolutely, what you said times infinity. The agent, I believe, thinks that — by virtue of representing Frolov, Richardson, Doughty and Kopitar — he has more leverage over DL than he actually has. But precisely because the agent represents so many pieces of DL’s puzzle, I believe DL absolutely will not flinch in this negotiation. Nor should he.

    The agent of course has nothing to lose. He will get his deal one way or another. If POS is traded, he doesn’t care. His commission is the same.

  • Anonymous

    Anyome ever thought DL maybe in the same situ with AEG that POS is with the Kings.

    Flashy GM with a lot of talk, some track record with another franchise, a solid plan and some good moves so far but lets see some progress before we pony up more cash

    Similar to

    Top prospect with good AHL year but some history of sulking counteracted by an ability (shown over a 1 year limited period) to take learnings on board and get with the plan…..knuckle down son and do it again before you expect the (sorry $)

    Interesting DL wants to meet face to face…..thats when this gets sorted. In this kind of negotiation see the guys eyes & judge what you see and make a deal. If he shafts you then you can feel bad and hold out or trade him….If you don’t meet real danger is everyone THINKS the worse – DL realises this ..does POS?

    DL does need this done right. POS leaves bad message to all the other top prospects…POS getws overated deal and DL can’t keep everyone comig through

    Sit down and eye ball each other and get it done (one way or the other) any other option is all BAD

  • Andre, Norway

    just ask yourself the question??? why isnt sully in LA???? does that tell us something???? DL expressed that he want to talk to sully face to face and tell him they want him and thats difficult when he is not in LA.
    And tired of waiting, you are starting to sound like ……. .

  • Baumgartner22

    EVERYBODY PANIC!!!

  • Goon Squad

    Marc Nathan:

    I completely disagree with your first point that “he was sent to the minors because Crawford had his head up his ass as to what to do with O’Sullivan, and really didn’t give him the opportunities to succeed…” Crawford had him playing in the top 6 alongside Conroy and Frolov back in October of 2006. I was at several of those games and POS was totally uncomfortable and couldn’t get rid of the puck fast enough. His stint in the minors was totally justified and necessary.

    I completely AGREE with your second point that “it’s more that the Kings got Brown at such a cut-rate price that over the next year or so it’s going to be hard to justify paying guys like O’Sullivan so much more than Brown” DL has admitted that the problem is they are asking guys to fit into a team pay structure when the agents are only looking at how their one client compares to others around the league.

    And back to disagreeing with you that “O’Sullivan’s upside offensively is greater than even Kopitar…” I don’t see that happening, but I respect you going out on a limb. I predicted that Thomas Hickey will be the best defenseman in camp this year. You gotta be bold sometimes.

  • Daniel

    We are up because we care.

    Like I said in an earlier post, DL should not be negotiating against future contracts of other players. He should be negotiating POS against Pommerville and other 23 y.o. players in this league. Meehan is no Scott Boras.

    On a separate note – and a direct memo to POS – and speaking as a third generation SoCal, I have to ask what the F are you doing not guaranteeing yourself a permanent position in the sports landscape here in LA?!?!?!?!?!?

    Seriously. What, our West Coast Rap not East Coast enough for you? Eazy-E still make you feel nervous about 2-Pac? Shhh…t.

  • Paul

    You guys all need to remember that this is the first “cornerstone deal” for this new Kings core. Lombardi has to get this right so he can negotiate properly on future contracts with guys like Kopitar, Johnson, Doughty, Bernier, etc… Yes, he signed Brown last year, but Brown was already here for a few seasons.

    So while I’m worried about where this will lead with O’Sullivan, I support that Dean has to make the right deal or make no deal at all. We can’t continue to have a revolving door for young Kings talent that only ends up feeding other clubs. This team has to build a solid core that will be here for 5-8-10 years. This is the first big piece of that core.

    On a somewhat related note to this post, the Hockey This Morning show on XM radio just quoted directly from this interview with Lombardi. So other media is evidently reading this blog….or some other XM listener pointed it out to them. Either way it’s a good thing for this blog. :D

  • Squidward

    gumlegs said it best. Dean does not want to give O’Sullivan big money based on his potential…..but he also does not want to give O’Sullivan a short term contract where he can prove his worth and then come back to the table demanding more money. Dean wants it both ways….long term contract at short term contract wages.

    In response to Garrett..

    “2) Why not just sign him to a very incentive-laden deal? If he scores 30 goals this year he makes a certain amount and if he scores 35 he gets more, etc, increasing each year?”

    O’Sullivan is not eligible for an incentive contract. So this is not an option.

  • nykingfan

    I don’t see a reason to panic at all. I think it’s more important that a long term deal gets worked out so that we don’t go through this in the future. Lets face it…we’re not competing for the cup this year. If Sully comes in late, he’ll catch up quickly. We don’t need to get off to a quick start in order to “save” the season. We all need to think long term here..whether it’s the contract or the progress of the team.
    We all want to see Sully in camp right away, but lets do this smart. If he gets an over-inflated contract..so will Kopitar and JJ. All well and good, but then you’ll have probems signing other guys to fit under the cap later on when we’re trying to compete for the cup. What good will that do?

    Marc Nathan you’re wrong on your assessment of Sully when he first came up. Don’t blame Crawford for what happened. The kid didn’t play a stich of defense when he got here. Whether it was his return trip to the minors or Crawford’s help, he became a very good Two way player.
    You really belive that Sully’s offensive potential is greater than Kopitar? WOW! How much of Sully’s success was as a result of playing with Kopitar? Kopi’s a great playmaker. Unless you’re Gretzky, you’re only as good as your linemates will allow you to be.

  • pat

    Anyone interested in sharing their thoughts or some motivational words of encouragement with O’Sullivan’s agent Don Meehan can do so through his contact page here:

    http://www.thehockeyagency.com/index2.html

  • Silence Dogood

    DL digs new depths in making it hard to be a Kings fan. By refusing to sign O’Sully to a one year contract, he makes it abundantly clear that putting the best team possible on the ice is NOT his primary goal.

    So trade him, DL, and get on the next train out of town before your rail transportation is accompanied by tar and feathers.

    The beer at Staples Center (to say nothing of tickets, food and parking) is certainly not cheap. Why is Kings management so cheap? Los Angeles is a major market. AEG spends money for a has-been like Beckham. Why not for a player entering his most productive years?

    Flog the agent (who probably feels he got the short end of the deal for Frolov). Flog and exile Lombardi.

    The worst fault is Lombardi’s. He could sign a one year deal, and get O’Sully on the ice. If POS has a 80 point year, then pay him fairly, If he has a 40 point year, then DL could get the long term numbers he is likely offering next year.

  • Nick

    “DL digs new depths in making it hard to be a Kings fan. By refusing to sign O’Sully to a one year contract, he makes it abundantly clear that putting the best team possible on the ice is NOT his primary goal.”

    This is dumbfounding. You want to be BACK in this position next year?

  • EJ

    Here’s one other factor to toss into the discussion.

    Given the current economic crises that face us all, no matter what country, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see attendance numbers down significantly this season all over the league (perhaps less so in Canada). Dean, like all GMs, has to operate on the long-term possibility that the cap will actually decrease over the next few years.

    Sure, if that happens, individual player salaries negotiated in that financial climate will shrink. But the larger salaries negotiated today will be a burden then.

    I absolutely feel that DL has to keep the salaries lean. I’m not saying “cheap” . . . just sensible, with an eye to the future.

  • Jason

    LOL….For some reason, I thought POS meant “Piece of S**t. LOLOL! Then I got it.

  • David

    AEG = Anarchists Exuding Greed!!!

  • Crash Davis

    Re: Kings like Clippers in not paying the $$$$’s.

    Jarret Stoll just got $3.6 mil a season. That’s not chump change. This is a 26 yr old with Cup experience coming off an injury plagued season. He has an UP side to him, and is paid to show his former self. He has enough years putting up numbers to gauge his worth in the marketplace based on age + experience.

    It is far different, as has been argued on this post, to gauge POS. He’s had one good season on a bad team, is 23 and 4 years from free agency. AEG has the money to sign him – and will. But at what price and how many years? POS’s contract sets a benchmark for other young Kings coming along, as has been stated. Though Kopitar and Johnson will be on higher benchmarks based on skill and their worth vs others their age in the NHL. Kopitar, if he puts up big numbers again this season, will be a $5 mil+ player next summer. Maybe more. And worth it. Lock him up. But what DL does with POS right NOW has a ripple effect.

    Lastly, there are a ton of forwards who would like POS’s position this year. Throw the puck out and let them fight for it…until POS and DL can mutually sign on the dotted line. Just hope it doesn’t get ugly. DL knows from San Jose experience what that’s like.

  • Innocent Bystander

    The Kings have what, about $20 million in cap space? They have raised ticket prices and cut payroll and yet they are playing hardball with this kid?

    If Jarret Stoll, after two bad years, is worth $3.6 million a year than what is Patrick O’Sullivan worth? At least $4 million a year in my mind.

    And why is the onus on POS to cave and take the lowball offer for multiple years? Why aren’t fans saying “give POS the money he wants and get him signed!” POS and his agent know what he is worth on the open market and they either want that from the Kings or they want to be allowed to get to the open market as quickly as possible. Nothing wrong with that.

    The Kings got a STEAL on Dustin Brown but that does not mean that every other player they sign has to get taken advantage of as well. Just as easily as you can compare Brown to O’Sullivan and say he doesn’t deserve that much you can compare O’Sullivan to Stoll and say he deserves more.

    It’s a bad situation to be under the cap floor, raising ticket prices, and yet playing hardball in negotiations with one of your best young players. Amazingly, though, many fans seem to be taking the Kings side on this. The Kings are still the Kings – cheap – and players still don’t appear willing to take less to play for them.

  • Crash Davis

    Calgary newspaper – as per Spector – is reporting that DL has a backdoor interest in Adrian Aucoin. He’s 34, 1 yr left on contract at $4 mil but has an NTC. And he’s a RIGHT shot. Maybe, maybe not.

    The other item is to look at who DL trades and works with: people he he knows and trusts from the past – Philly, Calgary (Sutter) and former SJ players. And Burke (a friend but competitor), where they have Providence College connections.

    See if one of those doors isn’t knocked on sooner than later for a D man.

  • Duckhunter

    I think the better question to ask right now is, how are the others going to adjust? How is this going to effect the rest of the players, both on the ice and their mental outlook toward POS. Forget about us fans. Situations like this, can and usually do create tensions and curtain divisions amongst the players in the locker room. This is the last thing this group needs.

    I have many views on what’s going on here, but don’t have enough information to spew my thoughts either way, so I’m just going to keep my thoughts to myself, and pray that both sides are doing what they can to resolve this situation. Doesn’t really matter who’s at fault here, it’s just sad that we can’t seem to get any positive momentum, for both the team and it’s fans. Lets all hope things come together soon.

  • Tim LiesWeekly

    Patrick and his agent hope POS = Please, Offer Sheet!

  • EJ

    Duckhunter said:

    I think the better question to ask right now is, how are the others going to adjust? How is this going to effect the rest of the players, both on the ice and their mental outlook toward POS. Forget about us fans. Situations like this, can and usually do create tensions and curtain divisions amongst the players in the locker room.

    I don’t agree. A pro player knows that it’s a business, and that signing a contract is not a frivolous undertaking.

    I will agree that bad feelings might ensue if a player under contract elected to stay away from camp in an attempt for more money, but that’s not the case here.

  • chazz

    I think the majority of you have this all wrong about sully except gumleg I think he got it right.
    It’s not about the money it’s about the length. From what what I get sully is willing to sign for the right price for short term to prove his worth. Lombardi seems to me to want his cake and eat it too. Either sign him to a good long term contract, or a cheap short term and allow him to prove his worth. It doesn’t sound like he’s full of himself to me.

  • Quisp

    Duckhunter, re positive momentum:

    It’s hard to do that during the summer. As of today, though, it gets interesting. I like POS. But his absence from camp, for however long that drags out, is good for a lot of players. Not only will there be more open spaces on the roster for opening night, but there will be more room for a player on PP and PK, and top-six (top three) time with the big boys. There are several prospects who project top-six (e.g. Purcell, Moller, Cliche, Holloway, Parse, Lewis, Wudrick, even the long shot Azevedo). The more they get to skate next to Kopitar, Brown and Frolov, the better camp they’re going to have. It’s an insane long shot, but I say give Oscar Moller a looooooooooong look with Kopitar and Brown. Also, Cliche.

    I expect lots of good news out of camp. I also think there’s a high likelihood POS will regret his decision not to sign promptly on the dotted line. He is a potentially a great player, but has not yet earned the right to his current negotiating posture.

  • Quisp

    Probably because it’s the first day of camp and the sky is bright blue with limitless possibility, I elevated Cliche to a projected top-six forward prospect. Which he isn’t really. He’s just one of the guys I hope has a great camp.

  • JDM

    Quisp,

    I’ve been thinking about POS and his agent’s approach to this contract. Remember back on June 30th when his agent, MARK GUY NOT MEEHAN, said this:

    “He could be the most sought-after Group II guy, because all the other [RFAs] are working on deals [with their respective teams]”
    http://www.thefourthperiod.com/news/lak080630.html

    From day one he was betting on an offer sheet. Well, there has been no offer sheet. I can only see two explanations for this, especially considering David Backes (who Lombardi initially compared Sully to, which everything thought was lowballing it)is one of the few guys to get an offer sheet this summer.

    Either:

    A: Offer sheets have come in and Sully has not signed them.
    or
    B: No offer sheets have come in.

    In both cases, Sully’s agent is expecting too much money. If they got the money they wanted in an offer sheet, they would have signed it. Or, their asking price is not just considered high by DL and AEG, but BY THE ENTIRE LEAGUE. If O’Sullivan is worth 4 or 5 million on the open market, why hasn’t he signed a $4 mill offer sheet? Again, either the offer sheets that came in were low and around what DL was offering, or they aren’t coming in at all because the agent is asking for too much.

    I really don’t think DL and AEG are in the wrong here.

    Someone either here or elsewhere mentioned that making a team like Vancouver is going to tender one if they give up on Sundin. If that is what the agent is basing his negotiations off of, he is doing his client a disservice.

    Regardless of my support of DL’s handling of this so far and agreement with his philosophy in doing so (or what I assume it to be), fact is –

    I’M PISSED SULLY ISN’T AT CAMP RIGHT NOW!

    I remain optimistic that he will sign long term, but man, sucks that things go down like this.

    Hopefully Sully will realize his agent is feeding him hype he can not provide in the reality of a contract, here or anywhere else.

  • wavesinair

    JDM said: “this definitely points to Sully asking for too much money.”

    Really, why? Because DL said so? It’s amazing how quickly players get thrown under the bus. But hey, we’re headed in the right direction…

  • anthony

    Quisp and JDM,

    Aren’t you concerned with the fact that this team, under this GM, will be enduring a never ending cycle of rebuilding.
    Players don’t like to play for teams like this. Players want to either – make a lot of money or play for a winning team. Even the players that Quisp mentioned will leave LA first chance they get, when they become UFA.

    DL needs to send out a better message to the rest of the league. So Far, there seems to be no way out of this rebuilding thing.

  • wavesinair

    JDM said: “A: Offer sheets have come in and Sully has not signed them. or B: No offer sheets have come in.”

    Or C: you’re wrong and this organization is not headed down a golden road. Just wait until other players start asking for better contracts. It’s a huge bummer and I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t see the Kings going in the right direction.

  • vicarious

    Duckhunter and all others +1. all upset O’sullivan’s contract is not worked out after a lot of time to work it out. But only those close inside the negotiations can know who to blame for the impasse, if anyone.

  • Quisp

    Wavesinair —

    re “Or C: you’re wrong and this organization is not headed down a golden road.”

    Well, JDM is correct. Either no offers sheets have come in or offer sheets were proffered (proffer sheets?) but not signed.

    The issue of whether the Kings are headed as you put it “down a golden road” is neither here nor there.

    The agent believes his client is worth a bigger contract (as all agents do) but also (here’s the tricky part) thinks he can get it for him and, by extension, that acting the way he’s acting is in fact in the agent’s — not to say the client’s — best interests.

    I would go so far as to say it’s almost certainly not in POS’s best interests to be out of camp. Whatever dollar amount they are haggling over is nothing compared to what POS will be able to make if he has a great season this year, to say nothing of what will happen to his value if he has a crappy season because he missed camp and finds himself playing catch-up trying to get to know a new system and a new coach.

  • Irish Pat

    I’m very impressed at the rapport that has developed between Rich and Lombardi and it’s nice to read DL being so frank and candid. If only Lombardi could accomplish this with the King’s players.

  • Irish Pat

    I also want to say thank you to Rich for providing us with these updates. I had to take a step back for a second from this potential nightmare and realize how spolied we are to have a journalist of Rich’s caliber provide us these updates. I hope the kudos and thanks haven’t gotten too old yet Hammond.

  • Paul

    You guys are all assuming that the Kings and Sully are far apart on money. DL didn’t say how they were far apart, just that they were. It could be that they’re close on money (that’s why they’re still talking), but far apart on years. Maybe Sully wants 1 or 2 years and DL wants 4+. I know, it doesn’t sound like a difference in years would be hard to overcome, but it would show a commitment to the team that maybe Sully isn’t ready to give?

    Regardless, I don’t see this going into the regular season. The Kings need him, he needs the Kings. It’ll get resolved by opening day, whether it be a signed contract or a trade.

  • drew

    POS = Please, Offer Sheet.

  • Anonymous

    Where in Anthony & his Deano bashing. Is he on vacation

  • jet

    I second the great reporting comment. This is incredibly enjoyable insight.

    I think both sides of the issue have been presented well. I’ll just add one thought.

    I would like to see POS get a little more space from the fans, most of us have older brothers, dads, or even cousins to bounce this stuff (negations) off of. POS, although bless with skill and heart, may not be as fortunate in the mentoring area as most of us. I think that may be the reason DL wants to speak with him. I also think that is the reason his agent wants to keep him out of town. We will get no where until the face to face.

    POS – 2 good months with one of the best lines in Hockey
    Ersberg – 2 good months with, well, not one of the best Ds in hockey

  • mrk

    “POS – 2 good months with one of the best lines in Hockey
    Ersberg – 2 good months with, well, not one of the best Ds in hockey”

    Thank you jet for pointing that out. Not enough hype going on w/ Ersberg-Ersbergie? and Fro.

  • jet

    or (negotiations)

  • JDM

    wavesinair,

    I’m not throwing Sully under the bus. If I assume anything negative, its only against his agent. I don’t attach anything either way to Sully, and if I were to assume it would be that he just wants to play hockey.

    I’m so confused…

    I would love to have him locked up for 4+ years, and I think its very valid for DL to do everything he can to get him signed to such a contract. If that is the case, pay the damn man on his potential, that I have little problem with. ~$4 mill seems fair (atleast to me) for his potential over the next 4-6 years. However, I am starting to think that just getting a 2 year contract done is the way to go. One year sucks, but two I may be ok with. You don’t want Sully, Kopi, Johnson, Purcell AND Boyle all becoming RFA next offseason, that spells doom. 2 years and then after two years if he puts up 130+ points over those two years, then throw him some big bucks, at least at that point we will know what Kopi gets and that will set a max and make giving Sully 4 or 5 million or whatever clearly fair to both parties.

    To sign him to a one year contract however only makes him all the more likely to leave in my mind or harder to get signed because of all the other RFA contracts.

    I’m not so worried about Kopi and JJ, they will have 3 and 2 full seasons respectively and thus a more stable cross-section of skill and productivity to draw from. Having a guy reach RFA after one full season just sucks. I’m more worried about Boyle and Purcell if they have good seasons, because they will be in the same situation. Good in the AHL and one year in the NHL on a (probably) bad team. Same thing all over again.

    There will be no “comps” or “well can you do this on a good team?” for Kopi. He’s in a different stratosphere and basically he gets the most DL and AEG is willing to pay for anybody, a la Crosby’s scenario.

  • Quisp

    Paul –

    re: You guys are all assuming that the Kings and Sully are far apart on money. DL didn’t say how they were far apart, just that they were. It could be that they’re close on money (that’s why they’re still talking), but far apart on years. Maybe Sully wants 1 or 2 years and DL wants 4+.

    In this first quote from DL, it’s possible to interpret his use of the word “numbers” either way ($$ or $$ and years taken together):

    “Putting the (contract) numbers aside, it’s good to have a face-to-face meeting with me and the player, to let him know that even though we might differ on the numbers, it’s not that he’s not wanted.”

    But in this second quote, it’s clear (to me anyway) he’s talking about money:

    “When I saw where his (contract) number was two months ago, I said, ‘Oh boy.’”

    It just wouldn’t make sense for Lombardi to react to POS’s contract “number” (singular) in that way if he was talking about years. If POS wants a short contract, he wants a short contract. DL wouldn’t look at the “number” of years (i.e. “one”) and exclaim, “wow that’s a small number!” He would just say, to Rich, to POS, to everyone, “we would like a longer contract.” The only way, really, to be “not close” in the way DL is suggesting, is with regard to money. Perhaps I am parsing DL’s words too closely, but I doubt it in this case: it’s pretty clear (again, to me) that when DL looks at a number and says “oh boy” that number is likely to be a number of millions above 4.

  • Duckhunter

    Vicarious, read my posts again, nowhere do I take sides on this issue. I specifically state I don’t have enough information to make judgments either way. What I did mention was the fear of locker room tensions. I hope EJ is right and this will have no effect on relations.

    The way I look at it is this, if POS is not working in the best interest of the Kings, ship his butt out. But if he does want to stay and play with the Kings and DL is low balling, then this is par for the course, and management is full of it. But again I don’t know what’s going on, so I don’t know what to believe as I stated before.

  • 28 KINGS

    “But in this second quote, it’s clear (to me anyway) he’s talking about money:

    “When I saw where his (contract) number was two months ago, I said, ‘Oh boy.’”

    I tend to agree. This seem to be about what the two sides think he’s worth. Agent vs GM . O’sullivan has yet to show me he’s worth more than 3 mil at that. He’s had 1 good season, and is a year and a half removed from being in the minors. How his agent can ask for more than that(if the rumors are true he’s asking 4+mil) is really bad for all parties. Who’s best intrest is he looking out for Patrick’s or hi$$$.

  • brianguy

    from a fan perspective, Sully is an exciting player is going to be a great asset to this team. he was (borderline) my favorite player last season – that’s saying a lot.

    that said, I agree he and his agent are probably asking for too much money. look, if you’re willing to take a short term deal because the team wants to lock you in long-term but you can’t arrive at amicable numbers since you haven’t proven yourself year in and year out yet, then you sign a short term deal for less money… not as much / more money. it’s like they’re saying OK then we want to get paid to stay here now, even though we’re not planning to stay and most likely going to get a payday later. which gets to be a Cammy situation (not saying that’s where it is or where it will go, just one potential direction).

    to be asking for more than Brown is making is bad enough (even though the market has clearly risen since then, which clearly worked in the team’s favor), but to be asking for it short-term with the plan to bolt and sign a big contract is even more absurd. so I’m not surprised they’re possibly far apart IF the reports about crazy demands being thrown around by the player’s agent are true.

    I’ve been saying all summer it’s not about the dollars it’s about the length and now I don’t even know if that’s true, but hopefully we’ll see, and soon.

  • wavesinair

    JDM said: “If I assume anything negative, its only against his agent.”

    The agent is an employee of Patrick O’Sullivan. You said Sully is asking for too much money. Sully has empowered him to make that decision. So any negative assumption is fully the responsibility of Sully. If he just wanted to play hockey, he certainly would be signed by now.

    Quisp said: I would go so far as to say it’s almost certainly not in POS’s best interests to be out of camp.

    So youre saying, in not such a massively verbose way, that you think Sully is making a big mistake not being in camp. And Ill say, simply, that missing camp doesnt necessarily mean anything. It could be the best move hes ever made. You have no idea. Its just a guess.

    Duckhunter said: If POS is not working in the best interest of the Kings, ship his butt out. But if he does want to stay and play with the Kings and DL is low balling

    Maybe Sully should play for free. If you dont think there is massive low-balling going on, you havent been paying attention for the past year. I’m afraid this is just one more example of a continuing pattern after last years debacle.

  • Duckhunter

    Wavesinair, I don’t know where in my statements, I’m not neutral. You are quoting me as if I’m on DL’s side. I believe I said it’s very possible management is as much to blame as POS. I don’t know who’s at fault, and I’ve said that now 4 times just in this section. Nowhere did I say POS should play for free or donate his services. Your statement claims to know for sure POS is getting low balled So I ask you how much did POS turn down? and how much is he asking for? Will he be part of our club this year? Or is he on his way out? I would really like to know, if you have the answers.

  • Quisp

    Wavesinair –

    “massively verbose?” Thanks, man.

    You said, “[skipping camp] could be the best move hes ever made. You have no idea. Its just a guess.”

    Oh, I think I have a pretty good idea. Here’s a kid who arrived with the big squad two seasons ago, struggled, specifically had trouble playing at both ends of the ice (i.e. defense), who sulked when sent down to the minors, then turned everything completely around, and had a great season last year, earning himself many fans in LA, including me. Now, building on that momentum, he…

    …is missing the beginning of (maybe all of) camp, where a new coach is getting to know a new team, where many players are competing for open spots (now including his vacant spot), where a new defensive system is being implemented, to say nothing of the fact that players are shaking off the cobwebs and getting up to speed.

    I’m not “guessing” that this is a bad idea. It is a bad idea.

  • http://www.fbmarketingtools.com Donnie Bironas

    Very interesting way to market on facebook. I also found a way to automate a couple very powerful methods of getting users. You can capture ID by groups or pages or wall posts with this program. Then once you have the IDs you can do a friend add to your profile or sudo profile. This by passes the captcha codes too. There is also a cool chat program that you can setup scripts and keyword to work with. This program, when I use it I can see a spike in my site traffic. It is sweet…

  • http://www.kingbet.co.uk Free Casino Bets

    I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but I’m glad I visited. I will post a link to this site on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.