Lombardi: Johnson’s contract, and economics

Question: Jack Johnson, another restricted free agent situation…

LOMBARDI: “We’re working on that now.”

Question: Is it going be a Kopitar situation or an O’Sullivan situation, in terms of how difficult negotiations will be?

LOMBARDI: “Well, number one, we don’t have to worry about losing him. We’re not worried about that. His issue, to me, is finding the right number. Here’s the problem, which is what we’re all struggling with now. There’s the economy, and the issue of the cap coming down. I think it’s fairly safe to say that it’s going to come down a bit this year, but what we’re hearing is that the true impact of what’s happening out there, in terms of the sponsorship dollars, is not going to be felt until the year after.

“So that’s the real rub, and it’s hard. That drives me crazy, because this situation probably penalizes a team like us, that is building this way, more than others, because we have to make projections. We have to make projections, and I don’t know what the budget is going to be. That’s based on the cap, so it’s pretty friggin’ hard. That, to me, is going to be as big an issue as the contract. We’ll figure it out, but it’s frustrating.

“Could you imagine running any business and being told, `Well, we don’t know what your budget will be 12 months from now’? That’s ridiculous, but that’s what we’re faced with. But I think it’s safe to say, judging from everything we’re hearing, that there will be a slight (cap) hit this year, and the sponsorship hit will be next year. So now what are we looking at, a $50-million cap? So our cap space is dwindling.”

Question: But you’re already talking with Jack?

LOMBARDI: “Yeah. It’s been hard because remember, we were talking before and then he got hurt, and he also changed his agent.”

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  • Eric K

    Argh, that’s it for the next 45 minutes?

    In all seriousness, this is great stuff. Thanks for the updates and the insight, and I’m glad we’ll be seeing JJ in a Kings sweater for the foreseeable future.

  • mrbrett7

    Changed his agent? Interesting…please, for the love of God, don’t be Boras.

  • Ersberg

    I can’t believe the cap is actually going down. It should be going up, if anything. I know a lot of it is based on economy, but for teams that are in the Kings’ position, it sucks something aweful.

  • Quisp

    The cap going down … bad for the Kings? I don’t know what everyone else is going to do then. There are only six teams below $50MM right now. A cap at that number would be … interesting … for teams that don’t plan ahead.

    Who it will suck for is anyone going UFA the summer of 2010 (i.e. Frolov, Nash, Pronger). Unless I’m missing something.

    I guess Frolov better sign his deal now.

  • Kevin

    You mean he got rid the agent who was also Rob Blake’s agent!? That’s some good news.

  • variable

    we might be learning the real reasons why carolina had to move him to begin with…jack is going to be great…BUT…he hasn’t done anything yet…and i don’t think he has demonstrated drew doughty-level attention early in his career…having said that, of course you keep him…but i really hope he and his new agent are going to be realistic in the negotiations…the same can be said about the frolov situation…

  • Ersberg

    Yeah, it’s bad, in that if players want higher figures to stay…

    How many players yet to be Kings, that become Kings are going to give us a “hometown” discount? I.e. Elites.

  • mrbrett7

    The cap is going down because it is directly tied to league wide revenue. Revenue is down, therefore the cap goes down.

    Personally, I feel like a kid in a candy store. With how much room the Kings do have, if they decide to use it, they can do quite a bit.

    As for Johnson…I have a feeling this will all get done in due time. When it comes to a negotiation, because he was hurt, he doesn’t have much to stand on but potential.

  • Naturallawyer

    Is it permissible under the CBA to craft a contract tied to a percentage of the cap? (E.g., player X makes $6 million per year today, but will get an equivalent % of the cap in any future year if the cap changes.) That way if the cap goes down, the player’s pay goes down, but if it goes up, the player’s pay also goes up? Seems like that would make it a lot easier in dealing with projections, because you’d be able to compare it to today’s dollars.

  • Chris Bond

    I dont know about the rest of you, but I see a little difference between DL and Dave Taylor. AHAHHAH Damn DL knows this stuff……

  • JMFJLongterm

    I hope they sign JMFJ long term like Brown and Kopi. I think the problems that will come from this wackey cap fluctuation is short term contracts. I see teams trying to pay players less money (obviously) since they don’t have cap space or don’t know how much the cap will go down. Players may want to take shorter contracts (that most teams hate) and try to ride out the dropping economy and when the cap goes up, they can make more money and sign longer contracts. I think the Kings are in a serious situation with wanting to sign JMFJ long term, Fro’s contract coming up and his value has definitly risen and then Doughty’s contract will be here before we all know it..
    SHould be very interesting on how this all pans out!!

  • Moondoggie

    The good news out of all of this is that JMFJ wants to be here long term. The more good kids they sign long term, the more good players will want to stay with and sign with this team. JJ has already gone on record as saying he’d like to play with Doughty long term, throw in Quincey, Hickey, Teubert, Voinov, Martinez, etc and the Kings have a defensive core that is going to wreck havoc on the league for years to come.

    Personally, I’m thrilled they’re moving along on his contract. Like I’ve said all along, the best is yet to come with our young Kings….

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