Trade details II

OK, as quickly as I can (because I’m supposed to be working a desk shift in the office at the moment), here’s how things will down with the Justin Williams trade.

This three-way trade was all but finished last night. The Kings nearly pulled Patrick O’Sullivan from the lineup last night, but didn’t because they were still looking at medical records. Then it all fell apart, in PART because of me and my attempts to confirm the blog item that was in the Toronto paper. Certain details of the trade went public, and the trade fell apart. Dean Lombardi, who was my source last night in reporting that the Kings weren’t interested, told me today that he had to lie about his interest in Williams, because the deal was in danger of falling apart. He gave me permission to say that, because he knows my credibility would take a hit, but he didn’t have another choice at the moment.

The trade got revived this morning, and the bottom line is that the Kings had to throw in a second-round draft pick in order to get the deal done.

That’s the short story. There’s a much longer story, but I think you’re probably more interested in WHY the deal got done. I have some quotes from Lombardi about why he wanted Williams, and I will post them, but I’m going to beg for patience because I’m trying to help get a newspaper out as well…

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Matt George

    No Prob Rich.

    Thanks for everything again.

    I had a feeling about POS from a while back. He just didn’t seem to mesh.

    I predict that will be part of your quotes from DL.

  • Anonymous

    What’s a ‘newspaper’?

  • Dan H.

    Thanks for your hard work Rich. I look forward to justification on this one. Hopefully it works out 🙁

  • Tompa

    Thanks, Rich. Know that any information you can pass along is always highly appreciated. Now get back to work! 😉

  • 28 KINGS

    This wouldn’t be the first time a deal fell apart due to certain details being leaked in the media. Glad you and Dean are still on good terms. Who else would we get those great interviews from if things went south between the two of you.

  • PaulCat1969

    Hey Rich,

    I am actually VERY interested in the long story so whenever you can please elaborate.

  • Scott

    Justin Williams: 2 acl and mcl injuries and one achilles tear in the last three years. Yes, an explanation by Dean is required.

    Thanks, Rich.

  • rajuabju

    Newspaper? eh?

    This blog is far more important 🙂

    We need updates!!!

    The pitchforks and torches are headed to Staples and unless we get a damn good explanation…. burn it down!!!!!!

  • Captain Material

    Thanks for the info Rich. I’m not dumb, but could you explain why parts of a trade going public would make it fall apart? I don’t quite get that.

    Okay, so word gets out certain things are happening…so what? Is there a need to suprise the public? I see how it can sour relationships between teams and players when one finds out the other isn’t invested in a continuing relationship, but is there more to it than that?

    I mean, it makes sense to me for an organization to lie about a deal that went public and didn’t happen after the fact (no, of course we weren’t trying to move this guy we are now stuck with, we love him!), but it has never made sense to me for it to actually kill a deal. I mean, it goes public, then you pull the trigger and the guy is gone, end of problem.

    I’ve just kind of heard that logic before and have never fully understood it.

  • Carey

    Yes, please tell us about the long version because this is a very controversial trade in the mind of many fans.

  • wavesinair


    gotta love dl.

    good insight into how he operates.


  • Telos

    Thank you for everything you are doing for us Rich.

    DL must have wanted Williams bad to throw that 2nd rounder in there just to get the deal done. I question things behind the scenes with O’Sullivan more though.

    If you look at the deal and ask yourself if we improved after the trade you have to questionably say no. Either Sully was turning into a Cammy case or there was a problem between him and Murray in the locker room, nobody knows… But this is now like Demitra for Williams.

    We were all bragging how Sully was doing was Demitra was doing and a much younger age and now we trade him for someone with same same length contract, making over 500k more, and performing less currently on injured reserve and more grief…

    I really look forward to Lombardi’s explanation because I can’t think of one. I like Williams, but not at the cost of O’Sullivan…

  • Anonymous

    man HFboards has been down all day.

  • Roger


  • Anonymous

    Rich, we truly appreciate all that you do, but after making the statement “a wrong turn at Albuquerque, to paraphrase Bugs Bunny,” your credibility does seem to have been taken down a notch.

    DL just used you as a mouthpiece to achieve his ends. He used your good name and reputation, and made you look ill-informed. Doesn’t that irk you somewhat? If DL will use an independent reporter like this, and mislead you intentionally (remember, he could’ve just said, “No comment,” or “I’m not going to discuss anything right now…”), then I think that’s incredibly shady.

    I wonder if this is going to erode your standing among the fans – as you are probably well aware of, your word is akin to God’s among the fans, and if we can’t believe you, who can we trust?

    I guess my point is, if I wanted to hear some propaganda/shading of the news, I would just go to the official NHL/LA Kings site, or the NHL network, to get a company-line. I would expect a little bit more from an independent entity.

    Don’t get me wrong – I love what you do, Rich. I’m not questioning anything about YOU or your integrity. I am questioning DL’s character, tactics, and how he used you and your goodwill to enhance his ends.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, we’d love the long story and an explanation as to why a leak of the deal would make it almost fall apart.

    Thanks for all the updates.

  • wavesinair

    “I’ve just kind of heard that logic before and have never fully understood it.”

    That’s because it isn’t logical.

    By definition, if it ‘fell apart’ then it’s done.

    Obviously it didn’t fall apart.

    Politics, chess, pawns.

  • dan

    dean lombardi: five minutes for questionable asset management, and a game misconduct for pissing off the fans.

  • smokiemcpot

    Kind of funny I guess. We here are the reason we lost the second. I am alright with this trade. I think that a healthy Williams will be a real asset to this team. One question though… Was Williams playing on the Staal line in those 30+ goal years cause that could inflate his stats a bit.

  • AzKing

    I find it laughable that a deal for a below average player who is injured would fall apart. Who wants Justin Williams? Oh, and the 2nd rounder was so critical.

    Prepare for the Lombardi scripted approach about how great Williams is in the locker room, etc. Forget about him never playing a full season or producing little outside of 2 seasons.

    The Kings got worse today.

  • Anonymous

    Lets not forget that O’Sullivan likes to dance around the outside perimeter and skates away from physical play. The Kings need to get a few more players like Dustin Brown who actually drive to the next and get dirty goals. Goals that are scored down the playoff stretch and in the playoffs. Therefor Williams is a good pickup, after all he has won a Cup, and was a very decisive player for Carolina in that Cup win. I am sure O’Sullivan will turn out to be a good player. But after a contract dispute and a hold out, there may be some other off the ice issues that are a factor in this trade that we will never know as fans. Who knows, at 27 and healthy maybe Williams will turn out to score 35 goals a year playing with Kopitar and everyone will love the guy and forget about O’Sullivan.

  • Anonymous

    I feel better now. Kings had all the leverage, consede they’re not making a playoff run by going after an IR player yet they get stooged and throw in a 2nd.

  • Prince

    Thanks for everything Rich. Looking forward to the long version.

  • CanadianKing

    Not being a fan of Sully… well ever, I’m not sad to see him go. He was too selfish and too soft for this team. I actually was expecting him to be traded this summer as part of a sniper package.

    Now who do we have to give up for a Kovalchuk type player?

  • 28 KINGS

    Listen to this from Kings Vision
    Lombardi explains the trade:

  • Rich Hammond

    Anonymous (although I really wish you would sign your name to a comment like that)… I appreciate the point that you’re making, and it’s a valid one, but that was a major part of the reason I wrote this post, to explain to readers how this story developed and to explain why it went from being a complete non-story to a story very quickly. If I wanted to be shady about it, I could come out and say, “Well, TECHNICALLY I was right, because as of last night, there was no trade for Justin Williams,” but that would be a cover-up and BS.

    I explained all of this to Lombardi, who was unaware that I was going to be reporting what he told me about Williams (i.e. lying about not being interested). He was just trying to scare me off. I explained that a) that probably wasn’t the best way to handle it and b) that my credibility had taken a hit, and that’s why he agreed to go on record and say that a) he had been my source and b) he had lied to me to save the trade.

    I’m giving you full transparency here. I’m not afraid to come clean about things happen. If you think that reduces credibility, that’s for you to decide. Sometimes sources lead you wrong. It happens to everyone. If it becomes a habit, you stop trusting the source. In this case, I can’t possibly have a better or more reliable source than Lombardi, but I’ll monitor that situation very closely.

    I hope that makes sense.

    As far as the “longer” version of the story, it involves Edmonton finding out that the Kings were getting Williams and not being happy about it. It’s definitely a long story for another day.

  • Kevin

    There is a video on right now with an interview from Terry Murray. He seems to really love the deal. I knows Justin and cant say enough good things about him. I like POS, but it’s not as if he has been lighting the lamp all season.

  • anthony

    I’m very disappointed to see POS traded.
    But to be honest, I wasn’t surprised.
    He was my second favorite player after Kopitar.

    I will not be name calling or using any four letter words here. The most I’ll say is that DL seems to be an unstable person and very arrogant.

    I thought he was trying to build a family type atmosphere on the team.
    POS and Kopi & Brown were best friends. Furthermore, Quincey and POS have been friends for years. And are now roommates. Trading away a best friend in ecxhange for an injured player will affect Brown, Kopi, and Quincey. I wonder if DL ever considered that. It will affect them.

    My unstable accusation. Every player that he’s acquired, he’s bragged about. When he acquired POS, he claimed he made this trade for the future. And he got a winner. He said the same thing about Nagy, McCauley, Cloutier, Stuart, – and now, all are gone.
    He played a serious head game with Lubo. Signing him to a big deal, only to trade him when he got an itch in his pants. Most of what he touched has not turned into gold. They’re gone!

    My arrogance accusation. DL thinks he’s Gods gift to Hockey. He knows everything. And none of us do. If you disagree with him, you’re doomed. Or you’re fired or gone. Its either his way or the highway and he’s not subject to compromise with anybody. On the contract issue, the two people who have issues with him (cammi & sully) are gone. They suffered DL’s wrath.
    And don’t forget to what happened to Dave Taylors scouts.

    SUlly was having a difficult time adjusting to TM’s system. Bt so was FRo Kopi, and Brwon. All are on pace to score less points this season.
    But Sully was a plus player Kopi, Browm, and Fro are minuses. ANd Sully kills penalties and is excellent on helping out on defense. Why was that over looked over his shortcomings.

    Today I heard Tambellini give an interview on the their pod-cast. The interviewer and Tambelini all mentioned that they were surprised to see SUlly available for an injured player. They were surpised to see Sully being shopped around for an injured player and an unrestricted free agent (Cole). They were almost laughing on DL.
    Listen to it.

    Thanks Rich.

  • Irish Pat


    I don’t think you need to beg for patience or for anything else. I’ll just speak for myself and say thank you very much for the work you do.

    Wow, I’m surprised this trade was such a sticky situation. DL must really like Williams or someone in the organization must’ve really soured on O’Sullivan’s game or attitude or both. I will say that when I read earlier this season that Sully was miffed about where he had to play when he joined the team after missing the pre-season I thought that was kind of whiny and definitely not a team first attitude. It reminded me of a story regarding Steve Yzerman when Scotty Bowman became coach of the Red Wings. Bowman would sit out Yzerman or have him play at 4th line right wing without giving a reason and Yzerman apparently never complained once to his teammates or the media. Maybe if Sully would’ve kept his mouth shut and been thankful for the ice time he got he would still be a King.

  • dave fouser

    rich’s credibility is just fine because we know the source of the misinformation. in fact, the way this whole thing has played out only confirms how important rich is in the public sphere.

    as for lombardi using him, this may be a particularly egregious example, but you’re nuts if you think that lombardi isn’t “using him” every time they speak. lombardi–or anyone else, really–doesn’t say anything to the media that is innocent. everything said has a purpose to it. we just happen to see the purpose clearly here.

  • Roger

    Why trade O’Sullivan for an often injury prone “has been” player. That is the big question. Is there much more to this than we are led to believe? Is Carolina going to perhaps give us something else on draft day? I really would like to know.

    As it stands this trade makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
    DL please can you explain to us fans as to why.


  • JB

    Only thing I can think of why going public changes the price is that other teams try to get in by offering things too. Obviously Carolina didn’t want Sully so they could have done a straight player for player swap w/ Edmonton.

    Heck maybe Edmonton didn’t really want Sully either. Maybe they just wanted to get something for Cole in return before he becomes a free agent. So this way they get a roster player in Sully to fill Cole’s spot and the 2nd round pick is the more valuable asset.

  • Anonymous

    I guess this is why I’m offended at the way DL treated you.

    As a reporter with access, there are things that you are privy to that you keep confidential about. We all understand that. You’re behind the curtains, behind the veil… all of that.

    I’m sure he could’ve said to you last night, “We’re working on something – but don’t say anything. Don’t comment on it, don’t mention it.”

    Instead, he went out of his way to lie to you, so you could shoot it down. He was banking on your good name and reputation, so everybody else out there would be like, “Hey, Rich Hammond says it’s not true. It’s Rich, not some random Internet blogger! It’s not going to happen.”

    And then he pulled the rug out from under you.

    If he was so adamant about shooting down this “rumor,” which turned into reality, he could’ve done it himself. He could’ve gone on TSN or NHL Live this morning, commented as other GMs did (e.g. Detroit’s and Minnesota’s did before the trade deadline), blowing this up himself.

    Instead, he chose to use you. You may not be offended by it, but we’re all very protective of you, and I personally think that it was reprehensible how he traded on your reputation like that.

  • PaulCat1969

    I love the fact that Edmonton was not happy about us getting Williams…that is extremely interesting and i am looking forward to the rest of the story Rich.

    I know I speak for all the intelligent, hockey savvy people on here Rich you are truly lucky to have you. Your credibility with me is as solid a its always been and your candor and honesty are really appreciated. You handled this situation with honesty and integrity and that is all any of should have the right to ask of you.

  • Mike

    We just got ripped off basically is what happened. A fan favorite young talent like O’Sully, for an oft-injured ex-allstar winger clearly in the twilight of his career. And now it’s, only if you throw in a 2nd rounder to seal the deal. I bet the GMs of Carolina and Edmonton are having a good laugh over that one. Dean I have a bridge I’d like to sell you, dumbass. We got hosed. I thought building for the future would translate to keeping good young players and getting rid of older higher paid players, not the other way around. I just don’t get this move AT ALL! We could have had Antropov for a 2nd rounder alone, and he is better than J Williams. I feal nauseous!

  • variable


    i’m going to wait to part 2 of the talk w/him before i pass my own judgment….


    great work…and i seriously doubt that anyone thought you were responsible for not giving us the straight dope…as an editor on a much smaller scale in college, i’ve had creditable sources flip on me because of certain issues that develop in the course of a story…it’s not unheard of, but still frustrating to all parties involved…

    i understand (i think) d.l.’s contention about not wanting to leak out any info until everything was dotted and crossed…but…that’s a poor excuse to mislead you and everyone else…he could have handled this better 100 ways…i’m a bit surprised, so far, quite frankly, of d.l.’s conduct…

    obviously, running a professional sports team is more important than worrying about the dispersal of information to the public…

    however, if he’s telling you that the other parties were the ones who wanted to keep the deal silent, his story becomes even more compelling…

    we will all wait and be patiently to get the info in an expeditious fashion from the source who corrupted it from the beginning…

    thanks again for your unyielding dedication to your profession and to us crazy fans on this site…

    today’s chat was a blast…too bad it only got even more interesting after noon when we were finished…


    you have some ‘esplanin’ to do….!

  • Tito Jackson

    Oh no, we lost a 2nd round pick. Don’t we have 13 picks total for the draft next year? I hope we survive.

  • Rich Hammond

    I’ll be happy to address this more, when things aren’t so hectic, but just to follow up…I absolutely agree with what you’re saying, and the points are completely valid. The positive thing I can say is that he stepped up and said, “I lied to you, and you can tell everyone I lied to you.” I’ve dealt with him for almost three years now and I’ve never had a problem. I’ve now had a problem, and it’s been publicly owned by Lombardi. Like I said, if it becomes a pattern, I will absolutely have to re-evaluate how I deal with Lombardi, just as I would with any source.

  • wavesinair

    "Maybe if Sully would’ve kept his mouth shut and been thankful for the
    ice time he got he would still be a King."

    …and scored more goals, and went to the net more, and dug pucks out of the corners, and didn’t shy away from contact, and didn’t give up the puck at the worst possible moment too many times.

    DL signed him, he didn’t perform, buh bye.

  • 28 KINGS

    “The Kings got worse today.”

    Really? They traded O’Sullivan, not Kopitar. Sully was a good player,(not a great player) but not one i would say would have made us any more better than we currently are. In Williams, he brings size and experience and has fought the battles to WIN A STANLEY CUP. This to me seems to be the key to the deal. We need these types of guys to win. This is one of the things this team is lacking. Yes he’s injured, but it’s the same type of risk you’d take if you traded Sully for Gaborik (without the Cup experience and huge future salary).

  • Captain Material

    ” I am questioning DL’s character, tactics, and how he used you and your goodwill to enhance his ends.”

    Why? His job is to do whatever is best for the team, not to be as truthful as possible to fans and the media. I honestly don’t like this trade so far, but if whatever the GM is doing is intended to make the team better (lie to a journalist so your trade to improve the team doesn’t fall apart), I can’t fault his motives, and if whatever he does ultimately does work to make the team better (in the standings ultimately) I can’t fault his actions.

    Right now I think the second part there is more a question than the first part. If DL hurts the team because he sours his relationship witht he media by lying to them, well okay, but I don’t think the bigger picture is telling that story right now.

    “That’s because it isn’t logical.”

    People would argue, as Rich notes here in this particular case, trades can fall apart because details become public before the trade is executed. My question is why is that so, not why did this trade fall apart.

  • HBfan13

    I’m not sure at this point how much I like this trade. There is a lot that still needs to be seen. But I will say that I’m extremely happy that I won’t have to agonize through any more games watching POS repeatedly take shots wide of the net that destroy our offensive zone puck possesion. POS shots that send the other team on a breakout the other way while the rest of our team is still on attack…And most of all. I will not miss his swooping imitation of a forecheck. Finish a check for once! We probably had Williams for POS straight up until the Canes saw more tape of POS displaying his beforementioned prowess, I sure have seen enough. I’ll take my chance with JW. I think its worth the risk in the long run. Oh yeah I almost forgot. I am most happy that I won’t have to hear Anthony pining that POS needs good players around him to play well. Good players make the players around them better PERIOD

  • Anonymous

    can somebody, anybody please post those videos from on youtube. NHL network vids don’t work at work and i’m dying here!!!

  • JDM


    Appreciate the full disclosure. I must admit, when I first saw that we traded for Williams, my first thought was immediately “No, that can’t be true. Rich said it wouldn’t happen! And Rich is never wrong!!!”

    Aaah, no harm, no foul. I don’t find it disturbing that DL lied to you for the night. None of this sounds wrong or off, and its actually pretty cool reading the whole “behind the scenes” of the story and the trade and how they are linked.

    As for that longer story, now you just have my interest piqued. Edmonton upset we were getting Williams? If Edmonton didn’t like it, I could only imagine its because they knew Williams would be a boon for us and thus, a hinderance to them. All sounds very interesting and I look forward to ‘another day’ when we get to hear about the full development, near destruction and ultimate completion of the deal.

    Good work today covering all this jumbled mess of trades!

    Out of curiosity, as a reporter do you love days like the deadline because its so fast paced and is constantly shifting? Or is it a pain because of all the rumors that fly and details that get left out and in a way it ends up being 50 different websites posting the same sentence long blurb every 10 minutes?

  • Anonymous (Again)

    Sorry Rich (and other readers):

    My follow-up in regards to the way I felt DL used you was before I read your comment… our lines got crossed up. Disregard that second comment.

    My apologies to you – I hope you don’t read it as my questioning your journalist integrity or anything else. I’m obviously peeved in regards to the trade, and it’s bleeding into and coloring my view of other Kings-related things. Except for you – you’re the best, Rich.

    I can’t say the same about DL. =) I still think he could’ve avoided lying to you. He should’ve just told you what was going on, and trusted you to not say anything about it after telling you not to.

  • fiveholio

    Sounds like the deal was originally set up with Edmonton to get Cole, then us flipping Cole for Williams and the Oilers didn’t like that idea. It’s the involvement of the third party that almost killed the deal, so we had to throw in a second so that Edmonton could handle us getting Williams. Not sure why they care that much, but that’s what it sounds like to me.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks a lot Rich, you cost us a 2nd round pick! I kid i kid.

    RIP Sully

  • Anonymous

    Rich, we’re lucky to have you. You’re credibility is not in question here with me, nor should it be with the rest of your loyal readers.

    Thanks for all you give us!

    Justin Williams – take care of that hand and achilles and whatever else because we need you next season! Welcome to Los Angeles!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks a lot Rich, you cost us a 2nd round pick! I kid i kid.

    RIP Sully

  • Brett

    Yep, you can’t trust what management says when it comes to possible trades. They’re not going to reveal their hand, especially not to someone who runs a blog. There’s no point in them confirming a rumor that’s still alive and no point in them being truthful about having trade discussions even after the fact (like Bryan Murray on Spezza).

  • Brian

    How does this impact Rich’s credibility? If DL lied to him, it’s DL’s credibility that takes a hit.

    It’s bad form to lie to a reporter. DL is smarter than that. He just exercised bad judgment in answering a question. There were plenty of other ways to deflect that question.

    The issue for Rich was whether to report the truth or not. It’s an issue for him because it could damage an important relationship he has with the club. As a reporter, Rich did the proper thing and explained what happened, instead of covering it up. My impression of Rich has actually gone up as a result of this.

  • CupRun2010

    Thanks Rich, you’re insight into this is really appreciated. None of us on this blog know jack about all the details and what motivates a trade like this. I liked Sully too, I think he’s got some skills, but like some of us say, he’s a bit soft and not yet proven. I’d bet proven experience and leadership any time over “potential”. Of course this could turn out like many past trades, but DL didn’t give up too much of the farm and like he said in the interview, we’re now flush with talent at goal and on the blueline–and you can’t have too much of that. We’ll see when Justin come off the DL in a couple of weeks–although it took Zeus a year to get back into a production…and let’s see what happens in June and July 1.

  • AK47

    Ah Rich, don’t worry about it big guy. You work hard, real hard, and no matter how many mistakes you do, I’m sure all Kings fans will believe you and trust you through thick and thin..

    The Kings didn’t get worst today, they just needed more veteran presence, but also a young veteran presence. Obviously TM put in a good word about Justin Williams, and the fact that he’s a Stanley Cup winner doesn’t hurt either..

    Rich, who’s getting called up for tomorrow’s game, do you know?

  • WhoThePuck

    You second set of comments addresses the issue professionally, but I would say, burn me once shame on you; burn me twice shame on me.

    I believe I hear you saying once doesn’t make a pattern. But once does speak to character or lack there of.

  • Don

    Williams staying healthy is the key to this deal period. With both players 100% healthy Williams is the better player overall. I’m assuming the research DL and Co did on Williams injuries deemed them worthy of the gamble. They were right on Zues, there’s no reason to doubt them yet with Williams.

    It’s to early to tell if the Kings got fleeced or made a great trade. Sully has a great shot, but was not an all-star caliber player….yet.

  • Scott

    Rich, I wish you’d tell us why they made this deal rather than spending time defending yourself. There is no need for that. I think this deal was atrocious and I really want to know what the thinking was.

  • Greg33

    This is why it happened – Check this out:

    O’Sullivan= 0.580 Points per game

    Williams= 0.644 Points per game

    That is despite significant injuries and if you take out this season for Williams, it goes even higher to 0.667 Points per game.

    Both players are UFA in 2 years. Now I know why DL did this deal. Williams gets to the net and is just flat out better.

  • KingsQueen949


    I know you wouldn’t intentionally lead us astray and you being forthright negates any issues I have with your comments from last night.

    Like you said, it appears DL gave you no reason to doubt what he was telling you last night, but I know in the future, you will have that little pang in the back of your head wondering if what he is telling you is the truth, etc. That’s an awful feeling to have and I hope he realizes how IMPORTANT you are to us Kings FANATICS…we are not just fans…but FANATICS. We appreciate you and all the stories you “get” above and beyond the typical PR bullshit!

    Look forward to your post when you have time. Please take your time and post when it’s convenient for you. We can wait. The deal is done. We’ll spend the rest of the season debating it.

    I’m glad we re-signed O’D!!


  • 28 KINGS

    “And don’t forget to what happened to Dave Taylors scouts”

    They all deserved to be fire! Dave Taylors scouts were CRAP! Period. They were completely focused on soft small euros. Do you think he would have found Simmonds or Moller? Nope! He used a high second pick on Danny Rousin, that right there should speak volumes. And we got very, very, very lucky with Kopitar.

  • Paul from Oxnard

    1: It takes a professional to admit when you had a hand in almost messing something up, and you’re a true professional Rich. Keep up the great work.

    2: Regarding Lombardi “coming clean” and admitting he lied, I don’t see that as a negative like so many of the readers of this blog do. Dean Lombardi is responsible to AEG and the L.A. Kings. Not you. Not me. Not to a newspaper reporter. And on a broader scale, he is part of a 30 member community who must depend on each others integrity when they deal with each other or they’d never be able to get any business done. It was the eve of trade deadline day. Dean Lombardi almost screwed up a trade he had agreed to by letting details get public. He had to protect the deal. Not your feelings or mine or Rich Hammond’s. I respect him more for ensuring the deal he needed to get done got done, even if he had to lie to a reporter to do it. Certainly wasn’t the first time a reporter has been lied to and it won’t be the last.

    Do I agree or disagree with the trade? I don’t know. I do question why a 2nd round pick had to be included, but I’ll trust a professional hockey person and his scouts over my own judgment.

    The bottom line for me is that as long as the Kings continue to improve, I’m happy.


    I have been noticing lately that Suly did not look happy. he was not playing as well as he was earlier for the KINGS.

  • Crash Davis

    This trading day is a lesson to all warm weather NHL players who become problematic: mess with your GM and he will ship you to somewhere cold. Like Alberta. Look up “Edmonton” (or Calgary) in the dictionary.


  • treevis

    well…I am definitely in the minority here, but I really like this trade and I have a feeling (if Williams gets/stays healthy) most of you will think the same way. POS will be nothing more than a 50-60 point 20 goal scorer, not this crazy sniper with the softest hands, point per game player. Williams (when healthy) has proven to be a 60-70 point 30 goal scorer, oh and he’s won that trophy…what’s it called? Because it certainly has never been here before! Then there’s always the behind the scene stuff we don’t know about. So we bring in a better offensive player, and from what it may sound like a better personality. I guess it boils down to what you think POS’s potential is and frankly I disagree with most of you. Nice trade, now get a Gaborik in the offseason.

  • JonG

    I overheard Sully talking about how he likes the weather in LA. He had to go.

  • Crash Davis

    “In wartime, TRUTH is so precious it must be protected by a bodyguard of lies.” – Winston Churchill

  • Anonymous

    Problem is that Williams will pull a Handzus and spend all next season getting back into the swing of things.

    Then, the year after he’ll either bust out and leave via UFA or get hurt again and the cycle will repeat ^^

    Go Kings!

  • vicarious

    Lame. Hope it works out for POS. Seems to me he was playing hard and improving He is only a young player in the league and should get better.

    Seems to me DL and TM play favorites. DL loves “his” guys. Both seem too partial to the ex-Philly players. Handzus then Gauthier now Williams. Not that they are such bad players but jeeze of all the teams how many players has DL brought to the Kings from San Jose (Preissing, Stuart) and Philly?

    I do not know what we received but the last two years stats do not inspire confidence. For a promising young player, we got a 3 goal scorer with substantial injury history. One strong year on a strong club. That is not a proven 30 goal scorer even if he was healthy. One good year does not a career make. Now injured and injured for a time. Not someone talked about for carrying a team. As opposed to POS who was growing. Lame trade. Lame.

    Moller is a few years away from carrying POS’s load if Moller can carry that load at all

  • Alley (AKA Anonymous)

    I don’t think any of “us” should feel responsible for blowing anything up.

    Rich didn’t have a hand in “messing anything up.” It was a rumor posted elsewhere, and Rich, as any good reporter does, followed up on it. He wouldn’t have abided by his professional principles if he HADN’T followed up on it. He’s a reporter!

    DL should blame one of his trading partners for not being able to keep their mouth shut. That Rich inquired doesn’t make him at fault for that 2nd round pick.

    The freedom of the press is a wonderful thing.

  • Stimulus

    Paul from Oxnard:

    Your Points 1 and 2 pretty much sum up why the country’s economy is going down the drain. They’re as much about Citibank, AIG and Bank of America as they are about the Kings. “The bottom line for me is that as long as [my protfolio] continues to improve, I’m happy.

  • Kingcussion

    Thanks so much Rich, I thought it was strange about how emphatic that Dean was about we weren’t getting Williams when there were so many other trades out there.

    I’m pretty sure we’ll hear how Williams has won the cup and was an all-star. He has proven that he can score goals, and his injuries are behind him. That’s what I think we will hear anyways.

  • vicarious

    Check–2 good years of 30+ goals but no other year over 17 goals. Lots of injuries.

    Justin Williams stats

    2000-01 PHI 63 12 13 25 6 22 0 4 0 0 0 0 99 .121
    2001-02 PHI 75 17 23 40 11 32 0 1 0 1 1 1 162 .105
    2002-03 PHI 41 8 16 24 15 22 0 2 0 0 2 0 105 .076
    2003-04 PHI 47 6 20 26 10 32 3 2 0 0 1 0 107 .056
    2003-04 CAR 32 5 13 18 2 32 1 5 0 0 0 0 96 .052
    2005-06 CAR 82 31 45 76 1 60 8 17 4 2 4 0 255 .122
    2006-07 CAR 82 33 34 67 -11 73 12 12 2 3 8 0 258 .128
    2007-08 CAR 37 9 21 30 2 43 2 6 0 0 0 0 106 .085
    2008-09 CAR 32 3 7 10 -9 9 2 3 0 0 0 0 80 .038
    Career 491 124 192 316 27 325 28 52 6 6 16 1 1268 .098

    Last updated through games completed on Mar 3, 2009

  • The Voice Of Reason

    Lombardi was put in a terrible position last night. His job duties required him to lie to Rich (someone with whom he has an established, trusting professional relationship) in order for a trade to actually happen. No, that’s not a good thing, and Lombardi surely knew it as he was saying it.

    But to his credit, Lombardi very quickly manned up afterwards, owned his actions, and allowed Rich to publicly disclose what happened so Rich could clear his name. And that is a good thing.

    Now that this is out there, any damage to Rich’s journalistic credibility and professionalism has been quickly restored. Full stop.

    There are several obvious reasons why trades have to be kept quiet while they are being negotiated and finalized. Anyone still unclear on this concept in this day and age probably shouldn’t be posting things on message boards.

    Rich: You do an excellent job. We are very fortunate to have you here. There are more than a couple full-time hockey reporters up north who could learn a thing or three from you about professional journalism.

  • 28 KINGS

    “Do I agree or disagree with the trade? I don’t know. I do question why a 2nd round pick had to be included, but I’ll trust a professional hockey person and his scouts over my own judgment.”

    Well it’s Calgary 2nd round pick so it will probably be in the 58-60 range and we got so many pick in the draft, it won’t be as bad as us losing our 2nd. Plus, maybe it was the price we had to pay for the deal getting leaked and almost getting squashed.

  • Anonymous

    Brett, your remark about hockey management lying can be easily applied to management in general. I’m posting anonymously just in case there are other people (and I’m sure there must be one or two) who read this blog, but management where I work is a joke. They hire bodies just to fill a spot, spread rumors, and do as little as possible. I can understand managment keeping secrets; I can’t understand management outright lying or spreading malicious untruths.

  • Jimmy

    Your credibility didn’t even suffer a scratch Rich. Take that to the bank. I think you’re the only source I do actually trust in the sports media, well, outside of Peter Gammons.

    Rich, your insight, your relationship with Lombardi and your outreach to us fans are second to none in all of my 25 years as a Kings fan. If we have a question you go straight to the GM of the franchise. That’s like having a political line directly to the president.

    I guess what I’m trying to say here Rich is that … I feel like I have a direct line to Lombardi through your reporting. Thanks for the effort and thank you for all of your time and energy you put into my interests.

    — Jimmy

  • KingzzFan

    What did I say a month ago? I like the roller coaster. That’s exactly what this is. So exciting, I can’t wait to see what happens at the draft. I like what DL is doing. First Cammy held out, POS thought to follow suit. let’s see who ever tries that again. If a statement is going to be made, this is the time to do it. Nobody here is qualified to be GM, so sit back and enjoy the ride. In DL I trust.

    Thanks Rich. You are the man

  • Steve-O

    No worries about credibility, you post what you hear – this is the best team info site by far on the internet. Once again, great work Rich!

  • Regulate

    This is a definite wait and see trade. If, and this is a big if, Justin Williams is healthy, then he is a better player than Patty O as the same stage of his career. Look at Williams numbers as a 24 year old, the same age as Patty O this year

    2005-06 CAR 82 31 45 76 1 60 8 17 4 2 4 0 255 .122

    If he returns to form, this is a great deal by Dean. If injuries continue to plaque him, we rolled the dice and lost. If these three things happen, all will be forgiven.

    1) Williams is healthy and returns to form.
    2) A top six winger is signed in the off season.
    3) Before Frolov’s contract expires, he is signed to an extension that doesn’t break the bank (this might be tough depending on what happens with #2).

    If these things happens, next year (sound like a broken record) might finally be the break through we have been waiting for. Then it will be “All hail Dean”. Only time will tell.

  • jeff


    I’d love to hear your views on this trade. I think it’s a huge risk for the Kings, but what do you think? Do you like it or hate it?

  • Quisp

    re “why going public kills the deal” –

    It sounds like EDM found out and made a pitch for Williams. Why they weren’t already doing this is another issue. But then, obviously, DL had to throw in a 2nd to block a Cole for Williams straight up deal.

    I think it’s hilarious that the same GMs who wouldn’t draft POS because he was “damaged goods” are now feigning surprise that he’s on the market for “an injured player” or whatever.

    p.s. I know everyone is kidding, but still: even in the kidding, it’s not Rich who “cost us a pick,” it was the Globe and Mail.

    p.p.s. re Rich being used by Lombardi – yes, but this is standard stuff. It’s DL’s job to lie to Rich. Think about all the questions a reporter could ask a GM and all the different things a GM would know that he could not say, or would say off the record, etc.. Don’t you all just assume there are a million things going on that we don’t know about?

    p.p.s. I don’t believe DL when he says he didn’t know Rich was going to report what he said. That’s disingenuous. He wasn’t just trying to scare him off. He was trying to fake out Tambellini. This probably explains Tambellini’s snark about his “surprise” that POS was on the market. He’s pissed that he didn’t get Williams.

    He used Rich. As someone else said, he uses Rich every time he talks to Rich. And I mean that in a judgment-neutral way. He doesn’t talk to Rich because he just f’ing loves Rich. He talks to Rich because he’s the most trusted Kings reporter and he knows what Rich writes will quickly spread across the continent.

    So, next time, will Rich believe him when he denies that a reported trade is in the works? (That’s a question for Rich, obviously.) But I have a better question:

    Will Rich still report the lie, if he doesn’t believe it, or takes it with a grain of salt?

    Anyway, when Rich reported last night that DL said he had no interest in Williams, but also said there was a deal that fell apart but wasn’t specific, I assumed something along the lines of (and I think I said this here somewhere) all that means is CAR was asking for too much, and DL obviously had interest but not at the asking price. In other words, I think we all already take everything a GM says about a pending trade or non-trade, or signing, or negotiation, or anything like that, with a huge grain of salt, and all of this fan indignation is in fact all about the fact that some of us are angry at this trade and don’t know where to put the anger.

  • Cynic

    Helene Elliot told us of the deal that fell apart.

    Now I understand even more Rich’s response in the chat about NEVER revealing the details of the botched trade. At that time, he was in the throws of all this.

    This is why I like DL. He has a CONSCIENCE (con-shunce). He did his job and I totally agree with the poster that said he answers to AEG and the Kings, not us. He was in a bad spot and needed to finish this deal. He did what he had to do and when the dust settled, immediately came clean. Honorable IMHO. The Churchill quote goes exactly with this.

    That act of coming clean and letting Rich go public with it tells me he respects his relationship with Rich. If anything, this should be a memo to anyone who has a problem with Rich’s credibility. Rich should be dancin’ around in Hammer Pants singin’ ‘Can’t Touch This (Da da de duh, de duh, de duh)’. OK, bad visual, maybe not. You get my point.

    If DL is cool with it, I’d love the full story. What you should do is a video chat with him on this blog, tell the story, and then give 15 minutes open floor for questions. THAT would be an event.

  • Jacklyn20Bolton

    When you are in the corner and have got no cash to go out from that, you will have to take the home loans. Just because that will help you definitely. I get auto loan every time I need and feel fine just because of this.