Q & A WITH CAP HIT

Throughout Dean Lombardi’s tenure, we have heard about the significance of Cap Hit to building a winning franchise. Dean is certainly not the first General Manager to proclaim Cap Hit’s importance, nor will he be the last. However, Surly and I think the last 18 days of free agency with Ilya Kovalchuk and what currently feels like the residual effects of Stockholm Syndrome now that this surreal captivity appears at an end has highlighted the relevance of Cap Hit to the Los Angeles Kings’ plans, both present and future. Certainly, with the reported number between the Kings’ offer and that of the Devils being a $700,000.00 per year cap hit, can anyone deny Cap’s value to the team?

At first, we were unsure whether we were looking for a forward or defenseman. I proposed that Cap Hit may be a goalie, but Surly was unconvinced. He decided to search Staples, the Nokia Theater and surrounding areas while I headed to the Kings’ training facilities in El Segundo. There, I found success. I showed my credentials and was directed to the workout room. I then met “Cappie”, as he asked me to call him. The interview progressed.

SCRIBE: “Thanks for talking to me. We have heard so much about you, especially in the last 18 days. Are you finding the spot light rather overwhelming?”

CAPPIE: “Tell you the truth, I am kind of used to it especially each year, with free agency. It’s good to be recognized for my contributions though since the lockout, the attention has certainly increased.”

SCRIBE: “Kings General Manager, Dean Lombardi, has talked about you often. It seems he values your significance to building a franchise the right way.”

CAPPIE: “Yeah, you know, I am honored to be held in such high regard by Deano [Lombardi]. He and I have always had a close professional relationship. He values what I represent and bring each day while I do my best to make sure I am always there to give it one hundred percent.”

SCRIBE: “Do you consider yourself overvalued at all by General Managers such as Lombardi, especially in light of what we have seen with the Kovalchuk signing, what Lou Lamoriello has done  and even as recent as the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup victory?”

CAPPIE: “Not at all. I suppose if winning at all cost is the goal, then perhaps you look at teams like Chicago or guys like Lou and say they have done well, but really, what have they done? Win? So what? What is winning without money management? What does it matter if you can’t sleep at night knowing that you placed your priorities in the right order?  The New Jersey Devils may celebrate their Cups but can they really say they have been fiscally responsible? Can Chicago? Deano can.”

SCRIBE: “Yeah, but isn’t it ultimately about winning? It’s not like you play forward, defense, or tend the goal, right? A team can’t win with you on it…”

[at this point of the interview, Cappie got up, walked several steps away and turned his back to me. I could only hear him muttering to himself. When he returned, he looked somewhat upset and told me that I can no longer call him Cappie and to refer to him as Mr. Hit]

SCRIBE: “Mr. Hit, I didn’t intend to offend you by my questions…”

MR. HIT: “…no…no…it’s ok. I understand, go ahead and ask your next question, please.”

SCRIBE: “Thank you, sir. So, kind of back to where we left off, do you believe you actually contribute to the…”

MR. HIT: “Lou is a circumventer. Understand? A harlot. A cheat…Deano, Deano understands my importance to his franchise. He and I are building something great here and we don’t need a Russian to do it, anymore than we need to look at Chicago’s Stanley Cup as anything other than an unjust reward for their gaudy and ostentatious spending that borders on glottony…it’s sinful…it’s unnatural…”

SCRIBE: “But, is it necessary?”

MR. HIT: “To what end, is what I ask you? You are going to say winning. I say winning isn’t everything. The NHL recognized my importance when it instituted me as a measure to control spending. Gary Bettman (pbuh) brought me here to ensure that. Now, these charlatans like Lou think they can come in and do what? Do an end run around me? It is the Devil’s work I tell you, and we will not tolerate it. I was brought in to keep control and by goodness, I will do exactly that.”

SCRIBE: “What do you see in the Kings’ future and your continued work with Dean Lombardi?”

MR. HIT: “More of the same I think. Deano and I are in a good place right now. We have players under contract for the right prices, well except that crying captain Canada, whatever his name is and that Slovakian kid…”

SCRIBE: “…Slovenian…”

MR. HIT: “…whatever, except for those two, I think we have done a pretty good job to make sure we have built this team the right way and, with Deano’s extension which only confirms that ownership is backing our strategy, I think we will only get better.”

SCRIBE: “Are you at all concerned with emerging stars, Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson and Wayne Simmonds becoming RFAs pretty soon and the salaries they may command?”

MR. HIT: “I try not to think about it…”

SCRIBE: “But, at some point, you and Lombardi…”

MR. HIT: “…Deano…”

SCRIBE: “…I am sorry, you and Deano [Lombardi] will have to address that as well. How do you plan on doing that while maintaining fiscal responsibility?”

MR. HIT: “We’ll find a way, as we did with Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick. Nobody said a big Kings’ tattoo has to come with a big price tag.”

With that, I wrapped my interview with Mr. Hit. He thanked me for my time with him and asked me never to come back again…



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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1 reply

  1. That was depressing.

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