OK, here we go… I’ll transcribe the stuff in a bit, but I figured you would want to know the highlights ASAP…
– There aren’t any quotes on this subject, because I threw it in at the end, but a deal for Khabibulin is very, very, very, very — I’d keep going, but I think you get the point — unlikely. There’s just not interest there right now, and I doubt that will change. The rumor had legs because it SEEMED to fit the loose parameters of what the Kings needed, but there’s really nothing to it right now.
– The Kings were right there on Brad Stuart, and apparently didn’t have a problem with either the term or the money, but Stuart decided that he wanted to play for the Red Wings. To this, Lombardi basically tipped his hat and said, “I can’t blame him for that.”
– Lombardi still has his eye on a defenseman who, in his words, fits with both the present and the future. He’s not at liberty to name names, obviously, but I don’t think it’s hard to do some reading between the lines, right?
– Rob Blake is still there as a strong possibility, and discussions are ongoing.
– There are ongoing talks with Patrick O’Sullivan, and Lombardi isn’t particularly concerned that the run of big contracts for young players will negatively impact his ability to sign O’Sullivan. Sounds as though it’s something that won’t get done tonight or tomorrow, but that it’s not a huge roadblock.
– There’s no concern about the $40-million “floor.” There are still players to be signed and, as Lombardi pointed out, there are also bonuses that must be included. Jack Johnson has significant bonus money, as will Drew Doughty, when he signs. So while it might seem as though there’s a big gap there, it will be filled quickly.
– Lombardi spoke extensively about the Visnovsky situation and gave his side of the story, which included calling Visnovsky’s agent immediately after the trade and attempting to call Visnovsky three times on Monday morning, and finally leaving a message on the third call. (It was pre-dawn in Slovakia when the trade went down here Sunday night.) As for the “six-teams list,” Lombardi said he told Visnovsky that he would do his best to accommodate his wishes but made no promises.
So those are the highlights. I’ll get to work on the quotes, for those who want to burn the midnight oil with me. And thanks much for all the support and kind words. They keep me going on these long days. Much appreciated…