Matt Barry gave us a transcript of the Bill Waters & Jack Johnson interview today. There are two parts I wanted to dissect from the interview and then discuss:
BILL WATERS: “WHEN YOU SIGNED THE LONG TERM EXTENSION, DID YOU HAVE A FEEL THAT THEY WERE SAYING, “HEY JACK, YOU’RE GONNA BE HERE FOR THE LENGTH OF THIS CONTRACT. OR AT NO TIME DID YOU FEEL THERE WAS ANY LONGEVITY PROMISED WHEN YOU GAVE THEM THAT EXTENSION?”
“That’s exactly what they said when the deal was done, that “you’re gonna be here for a long time.” That was the intensions of both parties. We weren’t just signing it just to get it over with. We were doing it to agree to be together for a long time. That was the intension at the time.”
“I knew as the trade deadline got closer there was a lot of rumblings going on. No one said that “The rumors weren’t true” or anything from the Kings standpoint so I knew where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.”
BILL WATERS: “WHEN LOMBARDI TOLD YOU ABOUT THE DEAL, DID HE SAY “I’M SORRY ABOUT THE PROMISE I ALLUDED TO?”
No. It was a very short, sweet conversation. It was, “We dealt you Columbus. Thanks. Bye.” Pretty short and sweet. There was really nothing that needed to be said.
“But it’s a business” I can hear you say. Perhaps. But integrity transcends that. “But things change.” Then don’t make the promise if you know it is not an honest one. I take people for what they do, not what they say. If a person tries to convince me that they are one of character, integrity, honesty and honor before all, okay, I look for evidence of that. Dean Lombardi tries real hard to convince the fans that he is a man of honor and integrity, that his frustrations with so many things relate to that lack of “loyalty” which he claims takes various forms including a tattoo on the ass.
Well, Jack Johnson bit on the bullshit. He took the tattoo and entered into a long-term, cap friendly hit. He also worked damn hard to earn it and, from my perspective, he did. His reward? Being shipped out.
Dean Lombardi loves the Flyers, wants to emulate the team, right? Didn’t Holmgren do something very similar with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter? Didn’t Dean do this before with Lubomir Visnovsky?
If I am face to face with Dean and this topic comes up, I nicely tell him, “you can’t expect to maintain credibility when you talk about loyalty, respect and integrity and then do the very opposite with your actions. Why would any player sign a cap friendly contract with you as a GM unless they are foolish enough to not know your history?” And for all the griping that we did about Drew Doughty and his agent Don Meehan, perhaps what we should say is “good for you, Drew” for having a good agent who knew exactly what Dean Lombardi is and taking the dollars so if you are ever shipped out, you know you have the consistent big paycheck – it is “just a business” after all, right?
I wonder what Tim Leiweke will tell Dean when he fires him? You know that day will come eventually. You think it will be, “well…bye.”
You’re full of shit, Mr. Lombardi. Regardless of how this trade works out for us, it won’t change that salient fact.