DEAN LOMBARDI INTERVIEW ON “OILER’S LUNCH” – AN ABSURD DECONSTRUCTION

I’m sure most of you have listened to Dean’s latest interview.  If not, here is the Kings’ link to Dean Lombardi’s interview with Bob Stauffer on Oiler’s Lunch.

Most of it is run of the mill jibba jabba for Lombardi.  Good stuff, but if you’ve heard Lombardi once, you’ve heard much of this before in different incarnations of spoken run-on sentences.

One thing did catch my attention.

@ 9:37: (re: Colten Teubert’s hand injury which will sideline him for up to 3 months)

“Things happen for a reason, there’s other things he can do now to get better.”

Other things?  Like what?  OK, so a hand injury doesn’t prevent Colten from working on his skating.  He can certainly still hit the gym with his legs and knock out some cardio.  I have a feeling though, this statement is a subtle way of saying “Get your skull together you goon!”  Teubert’s development has left a lot to be desired, even if you take the patient, methodical approach to bringing along defensive defensemen.  Colten’s main issue has been an inability to pick his spots, taking too many penalties and getting in uneccessary fights, to the detriment of his team.  Presumably acting tough takes precedent to playing quality hockey in Teubert’s mind more often than it should.  Sounds to me like Dean is imploring Colten to have a little sit down.  Read a book.  Have a chill pill.  Take out that extra aggression  somewhere else… a pillow, a therapist, the television, a girlfriend (that can be taken two ways, one positive, one not… I meant both).  Or he could just meditate.   He probably just meant go jogging.

Dean did talk briefly about Kovalchuk… briefly, and not really.  Or did he?

Here is what he said, verbatim, after being asked if there was continued interest in Ilya:

“Uhh…. we’ve decided to put up the wall on this one.  I really don’t want to comment on it.  I think, uhhh… the whole process there, um… through the month of July, I think kind of wore us out as an organization and part of that too is dealing with the speculation and, uhh… we just feel that right now we’re just gonna focus on, uh, you know, our team, and if it comes back around, fine… but we’re inclined not to comment on that right now to be honest with you.”

I see two ways to take this.

1) Shut up, I’m sick of hearing about it.

2) The rumor mill bit us in the ass before and I’m not going to let that happen again.

Either way, this says to me that the interest is definitely still there.  Whether or not they are currently talking is unclear.  It sounds like they are not.  The “if it come back around, fine” part of the quote can be taken a few ways, depending on what “it” refers to.

“It” most likely refers directly to the negotiations.  “If [the negotiations] come back around, fine.”

OK, so this would essentially mean that they aren’t talking right now, but if Kovalchuk and Grossman approach the Kings, then Dean is willing to talk about an offer.

But “it” could also mean, Kovalchuk or Grossman.  “If [Kovalchuk/Grossman] come back around, fine.”

This means close to the same thing, but not quite.  This means the offer is still there, which is different than simply waiting to see if the Kovalchuk camp approaches the Kings’ about the previous offer or a new one.  The offer still being on the table, and the coming back around being Kovalchuk deciding he wants to take it or look at it further, insinuates a measure (not much) of pro-action on Lombardi’s part.  “Hey Kovalchuk, want to be a King?” is different than “If Kovalchuk wants to be a King, we’ll talk.”

“It” could also mean (least likely), the speculation.  He did almost immediately before reference it, and while it makes the most sense for Dean’s subject in this sentence to be the subject of the question, Lombardi has a very keen way of redirecting the subject of a question.  In that case, “If [the speculation] comes back around, fine.”

This somewhat far fetched scenario implies that they ARE talking, but are trying to keep it very quiet.  If it were to leak again, then Lombardi would be more willing to open his mouth again to either quell or confirm the rumors.  This is (poorly) upheld by his following statement, “but we’re inclined not to comment on that right now to be honest with you.”  Right now, there really aren’t any rumors.  Mum’s the word from all sides involved in this seemingly endless dramedy.  This could be because there really isn’t anything happening, or it could likely be that a gag order has been put in place by the involved parties, since the rampant speculation from July didn’t do them any favors.  The phrase “right now” at the end of the quote implies that Lombardi will comment later.  If there really was nothing happening, then why not comment on it?  The only logical answers are that he is hoping it will happen again with Kovalchuk, or my first option “Shut the hell up, I’m sick of hearing about this.”

For the “shut the hell up” theory to apply, there is a prerequisite that Lombardi feels wounded in some way by the whole situation.  I find it hard to believe that Lombardi is purely just tired of talking about it… listen to the rest of the interview, its the same stuff he’s been saying for a long time.  Lombardi has never had a problem repeating himself or talking about an issue ad infinitum.   If Lombardi is wounded, (which again, I doubt… peeved maybe, but wounded to the point where he can’t discuss it?) then I actually would think a little more highly of Lombardi.  We have all been clamoring for him to add something substantial to the Kings this offseason, and to be truly wounded suggests that Dean wanted Kovalchuk in a bad way.  The kind of bad way he didn’t want Gaborik.  It is encouraging to know, even if ultimately useless to us right now, that Dean feels so strongly about adding a player like Kovalchuk.  It would mean that “let the young kids get better, they can handle it” isn’t enough in Lombardi’s eyes.  That’s good, because its not enough in mine.

But let’s jump back to the beginning of the statement to further debunk this “shut the hell up/wounded” theory.

It’s small, and maybe just a common slip of the tongue or phrase used to build unity, “we’ve decided to put up the wall.”  Emphasis on “we”.

Actually… I just decided that if I take this any further I’ll spiral into a void of babble from which I may not be able to recover.

On that note, I’ll end with this… at around the 3:30 mark of the interview, Dean says that college football sucks.

[disclaimer: I am aware that Dean never actually says college football sucks.  However, college football does suck.]



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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6 replies

  1. Hahaha. Your obsessive scrutiny over DL’s precise vocabulary/vernacular aren’t alone.

    And college football does suck.

    • Good to know there are more criminally curious people out there obsessed with minutia.

      Lombardi’s interviews always interest me. He is so specific about leaving things open to interpretation. He’s a paradox of dialogue, vacillating violently between meticulously chosen phrases and words just falling out of his mouth.

  2. Like everyone else I am exhausted from Kovalchuk fatigue. I have reached a point of resignation that he will not be a King. I’m not gonna waste any more energy on hope. I am too tired to try to decipher what Dean is trying to say about Kovalchuk and that asshole agent of his.

    I don’t f***ing care any more.

    I completely concur with the comments above about Teubert. He has been a disappointment. It looks like he has an identity crisis whether or not he is an enforcer (goon?) or perhaps a shut down defenseman. Trouble is he has not been good at either endeavor. It is hard to know what his value is as an asset to the Kings or the rest of the NHL. I think I might be getting tired of him too.

    Finally, after reading the piece above, it is pretty clear that DL slings a lot of bullshit. I often wonder what this guy says behind closed doors or perhaps what is really going on in his mind. Regardless, he’s made progress so far, so I still have faith in him…I think.

    • Teubert’s biggest handicap is his skating. That is why he takes so many stupid penalties and goons it up. He is compensating for an inability to play a sound defensive game. He is still very young though. 20 if I recall. Plenty of time to grow a brain and learn to skate

  3. Let’s hope so.

  4. Bobby, I think you hit the nail on the head. Something Teubert can’t do anymore with his wounded hand. He has to get back into the skating and defensive aspects of his game, if he is to salvage a playing career. He has to realize that he is not going to make his living in hockey as an enforcer, not only because the game is (sadly) moving away from that, but because he doesn’t have the tools to do it any longer.

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