So Much For The No Public Comments About The Drew Doughty Negotiations

Today, we got this Q&A between Rich Hammond and Dean Lombardi.

I was thrilled to read all of that. Rich asked some good questions. It helped get some insight into Dean’s thinking. I found the whole 275 days of work presumption to any offer and the insinuation (not threat) of a day-to-day reduction in the offer fascinating. The answers about the offer ostensibly being off the table, rejecting a short-term contract idea as being mutual, etc. was gold. This was as candid as I have ever read Dean Lombardi to be about the Doughty contract and negotiations. We even got a video bonus of Lombardi’s comments in a different interview with Daryl Evans.

This article however isn’t at all about what Dean said. We can chat about that later.  This is about the following statement on September 8, as reported by Helene Elliott.

Lombardi said Thursday through a team spokesman that he and Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, have agreed not to comment publicly about the negotiations.

In case you’re wondering, Don Meehan gave the “no comment” response when asked about Dean Lombardi’s statements.

I doubt seriously Helene’s report of Dean and Don’s agreement was incorrect. In fact, during this time period, neither side was talking. Thus, their actions were consistent with an agreement. Such an agreement makes perfect sense. Regardless of the fan / blogging / media appetite for quotes and perspective from the horses’ mouths, keeping the negotiations quiet and away from the peeps and tweeps helps avoid a quote from being taken out of context and also evens the playing field so neither side is accused of propaganda or negotiating through the media.

So, what the hell happened? Why did Dean go into so much detail and discuss the negotiations. There are a lot of options to choose from here:

1. The negotiations have fallen apart, they are at an impenetrable impasse and there is no end in sight;

2. Lombardi decided, the hell with the agreement not to talk publicly, it’s camp, he is not here, all bets are off;

3. Dean and Don’s agreement had an end date…this one is a  stretch but I threw it out there; or

4. What Dean said was really not “about the negotiations.” Well, ok, that may be an even bigger stretch but I suppose it is one way out.

That brings us to the next issue – if I am Don Meehan, I believe our agreement not to talk publicly about the negotiations was firm and not subject to unilateral change and I read what Dean said, I am pissed off. What are your thoughts about this? I just hope the comments don’t hurt the ongoing discussions…if there are even “ongoing” at this point.

Categories: L.A. Kings News

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38 replies

  1. 4 seems reasonable, since he didn’t comment specifically to contract details, just about stuff that was common knowledge at this point. Although, I’d like to think it was 2.

    • The agreement was not “we won’t talk about the specific contract details.” It was about not talking about the negotiations.

      • Negotiations are over. Dean has made their best, last offer. Drew either accepts it while it is available or he goes to Europe.

        They are no longer talking or negotiating. Both sides are just waiting for the other to cave and accept their offer.

        Hickey, Muzzin and Voynov have a spring in their step now. They have a golden opportunity to shine and make the top 6. Each one is in a different group of camp.

        • This is my take as well but I am still struggling with it. I think this is Dean saying, “we’re done. You have our best. Take it or leave it.” The problem is I know better. That is not how these negotiations work. It’s fluid, not linear.

          • They are exactly fluid, in that the formal, non-hold-out period of negotiatons (the more linear period) is now past, and with it the normal framework of expectations – i.e. expectations about future negatives that both sides should have good reason to avoid. It is now infliction of mutual damage – warfare. It is day-to-day, hour-to-hour. Or nothing at all. Wonder what Meehan/DD’s real “bottom” is here. Pay what we demand or trade my man?

            It really is a shame (I mean that in its proper sense) – DD stands to be beautifully compensated (this isn’t like the upcoming supermarket strike over shitty 401K ratios and medical contributions).

  2. damn it, Kings put together a solid team & someone pulls a freaking hold out. rats!

  3. Other option. DL wants to be sure DD is hearing what is being said. Meehan, like any other agent, needs to control the flow of information to both parties. Meehan can wave off any threats from DL but DD is sure to at least hear it. It has sounded like very little talk between DL and DD directly so far.

    • Cutter – You are spot on. WIth DD hiding out in Ontario, he will only be hearing DM’s side of things. My concern now is that DD becomes injured if/when he is signed by the Kings. This happens with holdouts, either because they push too hard with a desire to prove themselves or they haven’t been conditioning properly while the rest of the team is working at game speed.

      Greg – Exactly. Doughty just made himself the scapegoat for anything short of a conference championship Kings team this year.

    • ding ding ding!!! I like this one. He’s saying the right things. Speaking to Drew and to a lesser extent we the fans. Statements like “He’s going to be a King for a long time” and “He’s a very special player and special person” are the kinds of things you say to a kid when all you want is for him to come on home. We want Drew. Drew wants us. Now come in for the big win boys!

  4. Agreed, option 4.

  5. Lombardi is allowed to talk about the impact of not having a player on his team.

    He talked a little bit about the negotiations, but really this is about not having an important player going into camp and what that means for both the team and the player going forward.

    If Meehan takes offense to anything Dean said, well then fuck Meehan for being a high school girl moron.

    • I agree. I just read Helene’s latest piece on this mess and she brings up some interesting tidbits on what’s motivating Meehan in these negotiations. He’s a douchebag this guy.

    • “It’s safe to say that, as far as the big picture within the league, we certainly made him an offer that puts him amongst the top defensemen in the league. Then you look at your team. It’s no secret that he would be at the top of our team. Then, thirdly, even thought I think you know how I feel philosophically about paying for potential, it’s part of the system unfortunately. But the third thing that’s critical to us is the allocation. Where we’re at now, we certainly stretched the limit in terms of paying him amongst the top players in the league, paying him appropriately within the team’s salary structure and, most importantly, being able to keep this group together.”

      “Question: Is it accurate to say that there is not an offer on the table at this point?
      LOMBARDI: “Yeah. Well, it’s not that one [previous offer]. It doesn’t mean, certainly, that there isn’t going to be dialogue. The point is that missing days of work has to now factor into this negotiation.”

      “Question: Meaning the offer gets reduced by however many days he’s not here?
      LOMBARDI: “Well, as we talked about before, there has to be some finality, in terms of when the players are supposed to report. It’s no different, I think, than what the other teams have done. It’s, `OK, now we have to regroup here and see what evolves,’ and then I have to go back to ownership. It’s no different than anything else. You do this based on 275 days of work, and now it’s down to 274.”

      “Question: The other day, you kind of rejected the idea of a short-term contract, just to get something done. Is that still the feeling?
      LOMBARDI: “That was something that was talked about back in June, and neither side was really interested in it. That just goes back to what you asked me. We’ve looked at this every way. Even before we made our trade (for Mike Richards) and went through free agency, this was our number-one priority. This is a home-grown boy and a key part of this franchise.”

      THAT is more than a little bit.

      • I was alluding to the fact in the article that Kopitar was a client of Meehan but left him to go with Brisson, possibly as recommend by Luc who is close friends with him. She speculated that could be why Meehan wants the 7M for Doughty. Almost like an FU. Not to mention he was Matty’s agent when he held out in ’99.

      • The first quote is stuff you already knew, no new info really about the negotiations. Just “we want the kid, we think our offer was fair, we made a push to sign him in July” He had already said the last part back in June. Big whoop, nothing to see here.

        The second quote is really the only one about the current negotiations… which apparently… there are none. If there are no current negotiations then any agreement about not discussing the negotiations is automatically void, is it not?

        The third quote is about training camp starting and what that means for Doughty going forward. Again, what possible reason is there NOT to say this other than Meehan’s feelings being as evolved as a 14 year girl who is in love with Justin Bieber?

        The fourth quote is something we already knew again… they aren’t talking about short term contracts. This is something they decided back in June, so has nothing to do with the current negotiations, which as we already established, is not even an appropriate phrase to use.

        Dean HAS to address this, regardless of any agreement. Camp is starting and the team is about to take the ice. He would be doing a disservice to his entire fanbase if he didn’t address it. Would Meehan not give a report on the negotiations to his board of governors because he made a deal with Lombardi not to talk about it? The fans make this franchise possible and as such, we have a right to know why our star player isn’t in training camp. Up until today, that wasn’t the case…. the team wasn’t together and there is no real requirement to the fans. That is not the case anymore.

        So once again, if any of this bothers Meehan for ANY reason, then fuck him in his unclean festering prepubescent little girl useless vagina.

        • Dean has to address this, regardless of the agreement is a good point…the only good point :)

        • So once again, if any of this bothers Meehan for ANY reason, then fuck him in his unclean festering prepubescent little girl useless vagina.

          Surly………..Maybe the best phrase you’ve ever penned……..I’m speachless

      • “That was something that was talked about back in June, and neither side was really interested in it’ June? The entire summer and no short terms? Either the wording stinks of posturing, or this is all over 200,000 dollars.

  6. DL has a sense of how ugly this thing is going and the fan reaction may be a bit mixed today but as the actual numbers/terms start leaking which is and remains a DM threat then DL is going to have some explaining to do.

    Better he starts off by making it sound like we have made very good offers to DD early in possible defence of what could become another San Jose situation (though differently).

    I am sick and completely cornfused about the entire thing. This has been the single most fascinating contract negotiation process that I have seen in my many years of hockey. Oh well, I feel like chicken tonight!

  7. Dean can only hold off all of these questions for so long. Camp is open and we all know DD is not here. Like Cutter said we finally have a team that could push for the cup and then there is one main part of our core that is screwing eveything up. He will be blamed for that goes wrong this year if he is not in camp soon.

  8. So if Meehan now has the option to comment publicly, what could he possibly say…… “no comment” is the best he’s got maybe.

  9. … Like this wasn’t a foregone conclusion. Stay classy, Dean!

    • I’m not sure I understand your point here. Elaborate?

      • His point is that everything DL says is offensive. There has yet to be a quote from Lombardi that JT didn’t interpret as being childish or priggish.

        In reality, you can boil Dean’s comments to down to this:

        “We want Drew here. We think we offered him a fair deal, since hey, it would put him at the top of the team and the top of the league in terms of salary. We are disappointed and the fact of NHL payment structure means that Drew makes less money every day from here on out since there has to be consequence to not showing up to work.”

        Dean didn’t say anything uncouth but JT is still holding the comments about the ref, the Madoff comment and the Red Barenson shtick against him.

        Fair enough JT? I know how much you love it when I read into your comments ;)

  10. TRADE THIS MUTHA SUCKA and his greedy old bald headed agent.

    I want to see what kind of physical shape Doughty is in.

    Bogosian and Kane
    Larson and Parise

  11. Who cares about Don Meehan and his greed. He has done this before with others including Dean, and maybe that is part of the problem here. Does the last $1M or so really matter to Drew when the contact is for $40M+? Does Meehan really care about his 5% share of the minute difference still on the table given his financial stature? I highly doubt it. So it really comes down to the ego and the power play for Don against Dean, and you can bet young Drew has been brainwashed by Meehan to play along, since young Drew has never been down this path before. Drew should have taken the classy route by manning up to Meehan and forcing the negotiations to end over a month ago. He should be reporting to camp today with his contract being old news by now, ready to lead his teammates by the example that come the first day of work, all the focus is on winning the Stanley Cup. Could it be Drew is ticked that his best friend got traded away to Philly, and is using this delay to get even with the organization? I hope not.

    How nice it would have been if Drew would have negotiated his contract without an agent like some other true franchise loyal players have done in the past. 5% of this contract to come could have been split into both the Kings and Drew’s pocket, a much better place for the money in this case where a classless Meehan does not deserve a penny.

  12. Maybe Drew is holding out just to avoid the VO2 test? Drew, ya gotta get on the bike no matter what!

  13. Well I think DL has/had to get out in front of this since camp has started. This will already be a distraction, but getting out in front and doing some explaining helps to keep the media back a little and hopefully allows the focus to turn towards the team. Its also a way to make sure DD hears DL and DM can’t twist his words in relaying the message back to DD etc.

    Its now a game of “will”….we all have it in us to varying degrees…How bad will DD miss the game and how long will it take…I am willing to bet that today doesn’t bother him, but as this goes on and hockey becomes a staple of the sports media and games start, you have to know the competitive juices will be flowing and it will be interesting to see how long he can go without…you know really…how long could you go without sex? Try until you find your breaking point because you have to have it!!! BOOBS! DD will miss not being there everyday this goes on. Its a matter of will and who can last longer. DL is hoping it doesn’t get to the regular season and he breaks DD’s will…and of course if they go 10-2 out of the gate… But a 2-10 out of the gate and DL’s will decreases etc.

    I love the DL comment that DD would play for a six pack of beer…I found it funny (DD being a party boy funny) but also interesting in regards to possibly pointing a finger at someone else other than DD for why he is not here.

    Damn….this DD, DL DM abbreviation crap is hilarious!

  14. Could this be pay back for losing Kopitar as a client? Nothelen speculates:

    Meehan used to represent Kopitar but lost him as a client to Pat Brisson, another powerful agent whose roster includes Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. Brisson is a close friend of Luc Robitaille, who is the Kings’ president of business operations. Robitaille had access to Kopitar and could have helped steer Kopitar to Brisson, costing Meehan a high-profile client.
    Meehan now wants Doughty, who has enormous talent but has had one good season, one extraordinary season and a bumpy season, to be paid more than Kopitar. That would be a coup for Meehan in recruiting future clients and, some in the industry suggest, an in-your-face to Brisson.

  15. I think its more about how dean made the next step to talk publicly and let out his frustrations so that drew can see how badly his agent ia handling this and probably to start not trusting his agent.

  16. #5 — Dean Lombardi is absolutely incapable of keeping his mouth shut. I’m not using this phrase in a pejorative sense — just acknowledging the obvious. I proffer as compelling and indisputable proof.

    The man lives to talk.

  17. I intended to write “lives to talk” but are welcome to believe it is a typo of “loves to talk.” Both are fundamentally true.

  18. I tend to think that any gag “agreement” of 2 weeks ago would have happened at the request of Meehan. He has absolutely nothing to gain by talking to the media, if he did he would be on the front page every single day, and you can take that to the bank.

    Hypothetical: This was part of an exchange in which DL agreed not to drag Doughty through the media mud, and Meehan gave assurances that they were getting close and that Drew would be at camp. No camp = no gag.


    • The other part that I forgot is that Lombardi has a lot to lose by letting the fan base think he’s not doing enough to get this done. Doughty can take a hit to his image and still have a great and lucrative career. Lombardi cannot.

  19. $25,000 times 275 is 6.875 mil…. that looks like it was dean’s top offer


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