Grievance Filed, Bloggers Riled

Last night Helene Elliott reported that the Kings have filed a formal grievance with the NHL against the Edmonton Oilers in regards to the Ryan Smyth / Colin Fraser fiasco. This week on Judge Judy, Fraser saw another doctor by recommendation of league lawyer David Zimmerman, to reevaluate the ankle injury an LA doctor thought might heal by right of miracle. Jesus was too busy in Norway however and sadly forgot to mend Colin’s malady, so accordingly he was put under the knife to end this ankle cyst saga once and for all. The silver lining of Fraser’s hospital gown is twofold: the 26 year old center finally gets the treatment he needs to resume his playing career as soon as he can and Dean Lombardi has the last piece of ammo needed to approach the league with the case of The Tricksy Tambellini.

Meanwhile, Canadian bloggers are upset, and not because pee-stained icicles have permanently frozen their buttocks to the computer chairs in their basements. They are upset because they suffer from improperly diagnosed symptoms just like their former 4th line center did under their not-so-scrupulous medical watch; no one has ever taught them how to think.

“As if!” they say. Or wait, that was Wayne and Garth.

As is.

Oh yes, that’s the phrase that is being crowed incessantly from yonder to the North. We don’t need to get in to this again, the legal ramifications of an asset being dubbed ‘as is’. It’s unnecessary to mention that ‘as is’ does not refer to the condition in which one finds the wreckage of a plane crash. That’s a different kind of as is. So it won’t do much good to tell the flabbergasted slick backs on high that this trade is not a case of finder’s keeper’s. We might remind them that when Tambellini had the term as-is written down in his trade paperwork, that the phrase is not a stand alone condition with inherent criteria but rather an affectation of Tambellini’s own words. The same words that said Fraser would be skating almost a month ago. The words that were false.

All that’s left is for for Gary Bettman to judge intention. Did Steve Tambellini knowingly falsify Fraser’s medical status in order to not part with a more useful asset while still shedding himself of a contract the Kings never wanted to take in the first place? Or did he just not know? Ignorance may be bliss, but Bettman may render that said bliss is more akin to negligence as such that would need be slapped off Tambellini’s face with with one of his very own draft picks. Or he could decide that Dean Lombardi is the big whining blowfish the righteous frozen lake bloggers purport. He may just tell everyone to go home and play nice.

As you may have noticed, I have not linked to any of these articles. I won’t. You can find them with a quick google search if you please. I hear one of them has quite a ‘buzz’ around it, if you catch my meaning. Much like the buzz of locusts.

I will throw a quote at you for frame of reference.

“You know what would be funny? If the Oilers got mad at the Kings for misrepresenting the Calgary Flames interest in Smyth. Oh, have you heard that story? The Flames apparently asked about Smyth, but made no trade offers. The Kings, through “leaking information” to the media, lied about the Flames interest, as a way to pressure the Oilers to increase what they offered. The whole Flames angle to the Smyth deal during the NHL Draft was a hoax created by the Kings. Should the Oilers get compensation for the Kings manipulation of the media? Should the Kings be punished for their tactics?”

Someone with the same unfortunate last name of the former great Kings’ goalie that went by Dan wrote that. I think that should count as a good enough citation. Reading it over a second time, I’ve nearly lost my appetite to discuss how inane it is to compare a contractual misrepresentation to a negotiating tactic. Seems silly now to have to point out that bluffing is not a crime until something that is a bluff is signed, sealed and delivered to the league office. While I have not read the actual trade paperwork, I doubt that in the fine print was written “the Oilers accept Ryan Smyth in exchange for Colin Fraser and a 7th round pick, even though we would have given less if Calgary hadn’t made an offer to the Kings.”. But I guess anything is possible.

But enough about them, what about us, damnit?

Well, this might blow up in Lombardi’s face. When it comes down to bringing an issue directly before Grand Master Bettman, anything can happen because Bettman can do anything. I mean that literally. Bettman can resolve this grievance however he pleases. Once he has come down with a verdict, when it is time to dole out punishment or apologies, he does not need to consider the wishes of either party. Point being, he may judge in favor of the Kings… And then decide to reverse the trade, which the Kings don’t want. Suffice it say, it will be interesting to see what Bettman decides and what ramifications he offers for his ruling. Best realistic case scenario is that the Oilers have to take Fraser back until he is cleared to play and/or must give up another draft pick to the Kings.

While I do not kid about the bloggers of whom I speak, I mean my declarations of ignorance quite literally, let it be said that there are Oiler blogs who have handled this with either class or indifference. I have probably not handled it with class and most definitely neglected to be indifferent. If you were looking for indifference, you came to the wrong King’s blog. But you already knew that.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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31 replies

  1. I think at the least this should cost the Oilers a draft pick. If it had been the Brule deal that we were filing a grievance about they would be making them take back the player, but we already did that, and they pulled this stunt with another injured player. It’s bad enough we had to operate on the guy. The Oilers need to give up a draft pick here.

  2. apparently the guy in Norway loved the New York Times a lot more than Jesus. just sayin

  3. Can I ask one question?

    Would it really be THAT bad if the trade were voided?

    I realize it would be one hell of a mess .. but isn’t there time for the Kings to do salary cap juggling before the season opening bell rings?

    • Yeah. It wouldn’t be calamity. It would be a huge pain in the ass, but it’s not much that it would be disastrous so much as that it is the worst case scenario that could come from this. I guess there is the possibility that Bettman pulls a left fielder and finds in favor of the Kings and then fines or takes a pick from the Kings for causing a ruccus, but i doubt that. Really i just find it amusing that it seems the worst outcome of this could be happen if the kings win the grievance. I wonder if dean would rather lose the case than win and take Smyth back.

      However you have to imagine dean knows full well that could happen, and filed anyways. So he must have a plan to either fit Smyth into the lineup or move him somewhere else. Or maybe even Bettman allows Dean to buy Smyth out if he rules to void the trade.

  4. If I could be, I would be the wind at Lombardi’s back on this one. I support 1000% what he is doing. You cannot let treachery go unpunished or unnoticed. What are we without integrity?

    • … Hahaha, “treachery”??? Overdramatic much? I’m not saying the Oilers weren’t wrong, at all. They were, whether the injury was known by their staff or not. So, don’t deal with Tambellini anymore if the feeling is that he’s a liar. The trade was still beneficial to the team; it did what it was designed to do. We’re talking about a guy in Fraser who won’t even make the team. Is he worth taking this to the league office? No way.

      Honestly, if I were Bettman, I’d just void the trade. If Lombardi just can’t leave well enough alone, then nix the whole thing and force him to deal with someone else. I don’t see any other team willing (or stupid) enough to take Smyth off the Kings’ hands, so Dean would likely be stuck with him next season. Is that really what he wants?

      There’s an old saying … be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

      • Treachery comes in different forms :) And of course you would do that if “you” were Bettman but, then again, if you were Bettman, I doubt Dean would have filed the grievance. He is smarter than that.

      • Doesn’t matter! The deal was we get something for what we gave them. The deal wasn’t based on what we could benefit from if we did the deal. What we gain in capspace, by trading Smyth, wasn’t measured in the value of what they were supposed to give us back. Just because we benefitted from getting rid of Smyth doesn’t give them the right to rip us off, and get Smyth for free.

        The deal was for a player and a draft pick, period. That player was to be available to be placed on waivers, or play if he was good enough to crack our line up. He was neither. I doubt the NHL would nix the entire deal, and send Smyth back, because neither team or Smyth is asking for that. DL has hinted, but that seems like an empty threat.

        The only issue really is fair compensation. Edmonton feels they gave it, and the Kings feel they didn’t. I’ll bet the Kings will get a late round draft pick, or a player they can place on waivers, and Edmonton will take back Fraser.

        • The deal wasn’t based on what we could benefit from if we did the deal.

          … Huh??? Any deal is based on how much the dealing parties will benefit from said deal. Otherwise, why make deals?

          Just because we benefitted from getting rid of Smyth doesn’t give them the right to rip us off, and get Smyth for free.

          … The Kings would completely win out on the deal, even if they gave Smyth to the Oilers for free. Especially if they gave him up for free. To free up more than $6 million in cap space, without taking on any salary in return, is a great deal. The Kings don’t need Smyth at all. They’ve filled their top six for the moment, and have young players who are ready to take spots, should any of those six go down with injury. To give up something that you don’t need (aging forward) for something that can help (much more room financially) is a great deal. If anything, the Oilers are doing the Kings a favor. If anything, we’re ripping them off.

          As for the Oilers knowingly ripping off the Kings due to prior knowledge of the severity of Fraser’s injury, I can’t comment there. I don’t know the facts. If they didn’t know, they’re still in the wrong for being incompetent – but the intent to rip off the Kings isn’t there.

          That player was to be available to be placed on waivers, or play if he was good enough to crack our line up. He was neither.

          … Fraser isn’t good enough to crack the lineup, even when healthy, and what good does it do the Kings to have a player that they’ll only place on waivers anyway? Might as well get nothing back, right?

          • Nothing would be better. The problem JT, is that if Fraser is still injured come the start of the season, I believe he has to stay on the roster, count against the salary cap and take a spot away from a spare forward. I may be partially wrong here, but I think the issue is that he takes away some options for the kings to start the season. If he comes in to camp healthy, then yeah he can try and crack the lineup or miss and go to Manchester or get put on waivers to start the season. If he isn’t healthy though, it screws the Kings more than just being an annoying reminded of Tambellini’s shitty or negligent dealings with Lombardi.

          • J.T.,
            I meant the fact that we cleared cap space has nothing to do with wether they are supposed to give us anything or not. The deal was, they were supposed to give us something. What they gave us wasn’t part of the deal anymore than the first guy they sent us. Instead of making good on the deal, they chose to ignore it.

            The deal wasn’t to take Smyth so we could have cap space, the deal was to take our top scoring left winger for a draft pick and a player who would be healthy. Sugar coat it all you want, but that’s not what the Kings got.

          • Also, if he was healthy, we would have the option to take his caphit off the books if he didn’t work out. Right now we’re stuck with his caphit on the books for at least 3 1/2 more months before he starts skating, and a month to get into game shape. The deal wasn’t to eat his contract for 5 months with no chance of moving him.

          • Right now we’re stuck with his caphit on the books for at least 3 1/2 more months before he starts skating, and a month to get into game shape. The deal wasn’t to eat his contract for 5 months with no chance of moving him.

            … Holy shit. OK. Again, if you and others want to think of this as such “treachery”, that OH NOES we have to pay a guy who’s making about $800 K instead of a guy making $6+ Million, have at it. I know what the fucking deal was, OK? I know that the Oilers were in the wrong here, whether they meant to do this to the Kings or not. But, damn – is it really that big of a deal in the whole picture? No. And do you really know all the facts? No.

            The persecution complex that so many L.A. Kings’ fans have is something that has always confounded me. This belief that the rest of the league and the other teams are somehow out to get the poor widdo Kings – it’s pathetic. Just because this team hasn’t won in the last 300 years does not mean that everyone else is out to get them. For chrissakes.

          • Persecuted for saying it’s not O.K.?

            Pathetic is your attempt to down play integrity by waving your brash attitude around at anybody who doesn’t agree with you like it was a sword of rightousness, when really it’s just a double edged dildo.

          • What was the expression you used? Exaggerate much?

          • You are a freak and a very weird dude. Relax, man. I don’t think anyone here has a persecution complex or complains about vast conspiracies against them by the league (like so many Canadian fans do).

            A deal is a deal and it is ok to be upset that someone didn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

  5. great post. knew you guys would nail this on the legal angles. those oiler bloggers and fans with their “as is” is pretty annoying. They keep pointing to an as is clause but refuse to acknowledge that their GM misrepresented fraser’s condition when he said he would be ready by wed. The fans up there really seem to take their marching orders well and can’t think for themselves.

    • I wouldn’t call Surly’s analysis a “legal” one…it was fun to read though and made a lasting impression…I will never look at icicles the same way again.

      • I’m not the lawyer. Someone here might be though. Perhaps he/she would grace us with a Bona fide legal bumble through This mire.

        • If you threw out the collective bargaining agreement, and didn’t take into account Bettman’s ability to play Solomon, Lombardi would have an argument for common law fraud. I’m not representing that this is what happened. I’m just stating that given Dean’s statements, he would have enough to go into court to make an argument that would most likely not be defeated at summary judgment (meaning, his arguments are valid enough to be heard by a jury or judge at trial.) If Dean were to win at court, he would need to prove the following:

          1. That Tambellini made a statement he represented to be true
          2. That the statement was false
          3. That Tambellini either knew or had reason to know that the statement was false when he made it.
          4. That Tambellini intended for Lombardi to rely on the statement
          5. That Lombardi reasonably relied on Tambellini’s statement
          6. That Lombardi was harmed
          7. That Lombardi’s reliance on Tambellini’s false statement caused him to be harmed.

          If all of these elements were to be proven at trial, Lombardi and the Kings would succeed in winning damages. I’ve been reading bloggers the last few weeks who seem to have no problems discounting an argument for detrimental reliance. If Fraser’s health was in fact a requirement for the trade as Lombardi claims, there is no “as is” argument. I will restate that I don’t know the requirements of the collective bargaining agreement, but will say that two parties have the right to contract any way they want so long as the contract is legal. If they want the agreement to be “as is”, it’s best to say so in writing. However, if there are expectations that one party has in the consideration that they are bargaining for, and the other party knows this, the agreement is not “as is.”

          It really depends upon the testimony of Lombardi and Tambellini to decide what they intended to do with this. Bloggers who claim to have psychic ability to read into the minds of the parties, and who weren’t witnesses, only discredit themselves. I am a Kings fan and have attempted to look at this objectively despite my bias. It is definitely possible that Tambellini and Lombardi had a misunderstanding in the terms of the contract. However, given that the day of the draft the deal for Brule fell apart after a few days of careful scrutiny with the league over Brule’s health, the circumstantial evidence appears to me to favor Lombardi. Nonetheless I choose to keep an open mind about it since I wasn’t there to witness the negotiations or the agreement and since it’s quite possible Tambellini didn’t make any misrepresentations.

          So with that said, I would recommend that everyone just wait and see what the facts are. Arguments for a conclusion without the full facts or statements that the league is “out to get us” are just mindless.

          • Since my last statement might be misconstrued, I need to clarify that I have read arguments from bloggers that I believe were valid and cogent who have done a good job of piecing together circumstantial evidence to draw their own conclusions. It is certainly not my argument that they are “mindless” since they have at least taken a look at all the facts that are available. My biggest problem is with individuals who believe that there is no argument and that Lombardi is whining for bringing a grievance.

  6. Yeah I just read it again because I was really drunk when I did last night, you’re right but I think this line really impressed me:
    “that the phrase is not a stand alone condition with inherent criteria but rather an affectation of Tambellini’s own words”

    That sounded pretty cool and lawyerly when I was drunk haha!

  7. Funny stuff. I am sure the natives up that way will offer some humorous responses as well.

  8. Have you heard anything on the Drury to Kings rumor? Other than it is just a rumor?

    • Just a rumor. Maybe a little wishful thinking, on some people who just want something more to happen, just to have something happen. Boredom I guess. After Drew is signed the Kings are going to be in pretty good shape.

      I wouldn’t fight something like that, and he could probably help, but I don’t think he would be needed.


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