Blog Entry

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

Posted on: July 9, 2011 11:22 am
Edited on: July 9, 2011 1:53 pm
DeanLombardiBy: Adam Gretz

Earlier this summer the Edmonton Oilers re-acquired one of the most popular players in recent franchise history, Ryan Smyth, in a trade with the Los Angeles Kings. Smyth had requested a move out of Southern California to be closer to his home in Alberta. In return for Smyth, who left the Kings with somewhat limited options, the Oilers sent them forward Colin Fraser and a seventh-round draft pick, after Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi had previously rejected a deal involving Gilbert Brule due to injury concerns.

Fraser didn't exactly have a clean bill of health either, having fractured a foot last season while blocking a shot. According to Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times, Lombardi said he knew of the injury but was told by the Oilers staff that Fraser was just days away from being cleared for hockey activities. Once the trade was completed and the Kings doctors examined Fraser, they found a number of unexpected issues, including an unhealed fracture, a cyst and a blood disorder which could keep him out for up to four months. None of this, as you can imagine, amused Lombardi.

When combined with the injury concerns to Brule in the original deal, Lombardi was left with some sour feelings toward the Oilers front office and said, via Elliot:

"The bottom line for me, I would have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton’s word.”
The Oilers will reportedly not publically respond to Lombardi's comment.

This would be how relations between two teams turn sour. 

In the aftermath of the trade, when the Kings initially voiced their concerns over the injury, Oilers general manager Steve Tambelinni stood by the deal and insisted that Los Angeles knew Fraser's medical history prior to the trade and that none of it should be a surprise. The Kings, naturally, disagreed with that assessment and wanted to rework the trade. That never happened and they are now exploring their legal options.

In the meantime, it would probably be a safe assumption to think these two teams won't be involved in any deals together in the near future -- at least not until this situation sorts itself out. Or, worst case scenario, when either team (or both) has a change in its front office and the two clubs can start their relationship over with a clean slate.

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Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: July 10, 2011 1:03 pm

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

This Lombardi's fault for not properly negotiating the terms of the deal. I always see deals being made pending a physical by the team doctors, especially with an injured player, not sure why that wasnt done here. It should have been an easy request and the truth would have come out before the deal was finalized. Stop crying Lombardi, and stop blaming Tambellini- this is caused by your own negligence.

Since: Jul 9, 2011
Posted on: July 9, 2011 11:57 pm

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

Only question I have is why is he not taking it up with the league, instead of his local beat reporter. Saying that he would rather invest money with a crimnal, only makes him look bad and crying blues as he got out managed and knows the league would look at him and laugh him oput of their offices.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: July 9, 2011 9:45 pm

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

I don't understand why he even have a problem with the Oilers.  Some guy called Ryan Smyth was after-all publicly crying over not being and Oiler anymore.  Ryan Smyth was traded cause of that whiny guy by the same name within the Kings organization, the Oilers didn't have to do anything in order to take on that unnecessary contract they were not even look for this off-season.  The Oilers were not looking for that extra contract.

Dean clearly needs to go on a fact finding mission now.  Gettin' all emo over losing Ryan Smyth is just plain awkward now.  He didn't have to be that guy.  Ignoring the cause is just plain, well stupid.  Take it up with Ryan Smyth, not the Oilers stuck desperately trying to now take in unexpected salary increases.  Two organizations have actually lost cause some Ryan Smyth wanted to be an Oiler so badly.

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: July 9, 2011 8:39 pm

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

Not the first time the classless Oilers organization has been involved in a scam like this.  Only reason the Sabres are paying Thomas Vanek 7 million a season is due to the dirty antics of the management.  May hockey continue to be pitiful in Edmonton for years and years to come.  

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: July 9, 2011 7:17 pm

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

File a grievance with league and let them decide. Whining to the press just looks petty even if there is cause.

Smythe gets to go back to a losing team where he can get the gold clubs out in late March, dust them off and get ready for an early start to the golf season while over 1/2 the NHL is still playing.

Lombardi should focus on upgrading a pretty good team that may be a player or 2 from playing in the Finals.

Since: May 10, 2008
Posted on: July 9, 2011 6:31 pm

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

This is the first I have heard of a team knowingly trying to pass off an injured player.  Lombardi was told by the Oilers staff that he was ready for hockey activities.  Tambollini should be sanctioned by the league.  This type of underhandedness does the league no good.  Edmonton is deleoping a history of skulldrugery going back to the Vanek offer sheet by Lowe that damaged the Sabres.   What Gm will deal with these scumbags in the future?

Since: Mar 22, 2007
Posted on: July 9, 2011 5:33 pm

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers... So What?

First of all the Oilers look after the Oilers best interest. They knew that R. Smyth was coming home and the Kings had little to no options. The Kings do however have the power to look after their own interests. This being said, the adding of a "Pending Physical" clause or any other stipulation they wished to put in the trade contract would have served to protect their franchise. There was no reason for Tambelinni to make a better deal considering Smyth's demands. Tambilini only has to answer to the owners;if I were an owner I would be pleased with the deal. My understanding is that the Oilers had stated that BRule was in better health and that Fraser was more of a risk but almost ready to skate. Lombardi has the onus of protecting his club's interests and if he did not do so the blame lies squarely on his own shoulders.

The fact that Lombardi has gone public should only serve to further sour the situation. I would not be surprised if the Oilers made a play for Drew Doughty now. The fact is relations between these clubs cannnot get much worse. If the Oilers could land Doughty they would have alot of talent in the "not old enough to drink in most states" age group. That coupled with the maturity and leadership of Smyth and others could place this club in the up and coming category....

Well done Tembelinni and do your due diligence Lombardi! If you get caught with your pants down, pull them up and learn from it but do not go to the press crying. The future should be interesting between these clubs and fireworks should be in order.  The Kings feel slighted and the Oilers disrespected. Let the WAR begin!

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: July 9, 2011 2:22 pm

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

The Edmonton front office keeps proving they're not to be trusted and are building up a fabulous reputation around the league.  Well done boys...well done!

Since: Jul 9, 2011
Posted on: July 9, 2011 1:01 pm

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

You all dont know what your talking about! R Smith asked to be traded back to the oilers he was doing a good thing!The Oilers are the ones that were getting the best of this trade.....and none of you have ever heard PENDING A PHYSICAL ?

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: July 9, 2011 12:47 pm

Dean Lombardi still angry at Oilers

Lombardi, son in law of my personal favorite hockey management hack Bob Pulford, probably didn't do enough evaluation to make a good deal anyway.   This shouldn't be a surprise, and trades can have contingencies attached to them especially if there are injuries.    He should have fired some staffers and talked to his lawyers and kept his mouth shut in public.    Tambellini looks shady by trying to pawn off two damaged players for Smyth anyway, and Lombardi looks like an azzhat.   Nice work.   There is going to be quite a competition for the d-bag gm of the off season award this year.   By the end of the Stamkos, Parise, Weber, Doughty, arbitration players, etc. there will be quite a list of contenders for the award I would think. 

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