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.