If the new rumors are true and the sticking point of the previously agreed upon Smyth for Brule and a 4th trade is indeed Brule’s health concerns, then only two things seem possible. Either Tambellini is lying or Lombardi is paranoid.

Tambellini said after the draft today that Brule has been cleared to play for a long time. Well, if that is true and it is also true that the Kings intended to immediately buy out Brule, then there shouldn’t be a problem here. It is possible that Brule is fine but Lombardi is paranoid that he will suddenly pop up with a new case of post concussion syndrome and/or what has been said to be depression (can a player be put on injured reserve for depression? Sounds like a question for Quisp), thus nullifying Lombardi’s ability to buy him out. If the buyout option is truly Lombardi’s plan, then he only needs to care about Brule’s current health, not his long term resilience. Lombardi being paranoid is not such a far fetched idea. Neither is the possibility that Tambellini is lying through his teeth when he says Brule is fine.

So does Lombardi know something Tambellini doesn’t, or does Lombardi just know something Tambellini doesn’t want him to know?

Either way, the only thing we can say is official at this point is that this situation has broached the realm of the ridiculous. What I see is two GMs being very stubborn about respecting the wishes of a guy who is beloved by both organizations. I woke up today confident that this would be worked out by the end of the day. Now, I’m far from sure, though I do feel that Smyth will be with another team before July 1st. There also has to come a point when Lombardi gets tired of being on the phones regarding Smyth and refocuses himself to getting Doughty’s contract finalized, which is ultimately much more important.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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8 replies

  1. I would prefer to believe that Tambiellini is lying about Brule’s health than I would that Dean let this little tidbit of information escape his notice when he agreed to take the guy, whether he intended to buy him out or not. That is not due diligence on a trade, and that’ what he’s getting paid for. This whole thing has gotten very screwed up.

  2. This is the Kovalschmuck scenario all over again (but in reverse). DL waiting all summer to get a deal done that seems cut and dry, only to have it blow up in his face, and have it handcuff him all summer, and distract him from concentrating on other areas he should be concentrating on.

    I thought it would be Brad Richards stringing him along all summer, but now I see how it is.

    It’s not going to be trying to add a guy to the roster, but taking one off that will be the nightmare.

  3. This whole situation makes no sense to me at all. If Brule is injured, his cap figure doesn’t count. If he isn’t injured, then the Kings can buy him out a discount. What am I missing here? Either my understanding of the cap situation is wrong, or there’s something else holding this up.

    I kind of hope that the deal falls through. I’d rather have Smyth on the team than most other free agents that you could replace him with. I don’t see any way that Brad Richards is joining the Kings. I think he wants to join an Eastern Conference team. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of good alternatives to replace Smyth.

    • Well then, the question is: How well will Smyth play if he has to hold is nose and live in Los Angeles another year?

      Remember, Dean is a lawyer. What we would perceive as “paranoid” is Dean taking steps to cover his ass. That is how he thinks. Brule could cause a lot of problems for the Kings.

      Moreover, this “trade” is basically a swap of players with unfavorable contracts (albeit Symth’s is worse than Brule’s, for several reasons) between teams that have loudly declared ‘We don’t want this player” . From a business perspective, that is what it is, nothing else. And it should be no surprise that something like this stinks. Yes, stinks like shit.

      If things are down to this level, I would rather have Smyth if for no other reason, being the “devil you know”.

      • From what I’ve read, Smyth would still play out his contract if the Kings weren’t able to accommodate him. If it were most other players I would tend to agree with you that he doesn’t like it here and wants to be with another team. However it would be a shocker to me if Smyth would allow this situation to become a cancer within the locker room. If family issues were the only thing holding this up, he wouldn’t have nixed the Calgary trade. That tells me that family issues will only go so far, and that he’d rather be in LA than Calgary.

        It’s also my understanding that Doughty can be signed whether or not we trade away Smyth. Since that is the case, why not just hold onto him? Dean has mentioned that he’s in a bad spot, but I actually believe he’s dealing out of a position of strength if he holds onto Smyth. The Oiler fans want Smyth more than this organization and its fans want to get rid of him. I say let this continue to stew for another few weeks and let the Oilers bid against themselves. Maybe they’ll come up with a deal that’s worth making. Ultimately they want him to have the same effect on the team that he had with the Kings youngsters. That’s worth a lot more than just a bag of pucks and cap space.

        I don’t see anything wrong with what Smyth has done, or what Lombardi and Tambellini are doing. Bottom line is that Tambellini thought he could take Lombardi to the cleaners and now knows that Smyth is going nowhere if he doesn’t meet the bottom line and allows a trade that gives Lombardi his cap and roster flexibility.

        The other point is that the clock is ticking. If Tambellini lets this linger past free agency, then Smyth’s stock shoots up. Because then the cap space has lost its value to the Kings and Lombardi will then look for equal value in return. (e.g. Omark, Hemsky, etc.)

  4. Wait a minute–are you missing something. Parting of fitting Doughty in the cap space AND having a winning team is to eject Smyth’s cap hit. This is cold blooded business; simple bottom line math.

    Smyth’s reported family issues may simply be a cloak or perhaps a win-win.

    So Smyth’s status is critical for the financing of the whole team.

  5. It’s never easy is it?
    I hope it all wotks out and gives Smyth the respect he deserves, and our Kings can move forward to the upcoming season.
    GO KINGS GO!!!

  6. These assessments of Lombardi and Tambellini are by no means mutually exclusive…..



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