Dean Lombardi talked today about two of the Kings’ most-relevant summer subplots, the Drew Doughty contract talks and the disputed Ryan Smyth-Colin Fraser trade with Edmonton. The first one is simpler. Lombardi said his contract guru Jeff Solomon, the Kings’ vice president of hockey operations and legal affairs, has been in contact with Doughty’s representatives. Lombardi was asked whether the sticking points involved money or contract length, and Lombardi said, “I guess you could say it’s both. Both kind of work hand in hand.” So, it seems nothing is imminent. Given that there’s little motivation for Doughty to sign now, so this could drag on a while.
As for Mulletgate, it continues. To refresh, the Kings disputed the trade that sent Smyth to Edmonton for Colin Fraser and a draft pick. The Kings, after examining Fraser, determined that he needed surgery that would prevent him from playing a chunk of the season. The Kings complained to the NHL, essentially claiming that the Oilers did not make the trade in good faith, and are seeking some type of undetermined compensation. The Kings, of course, don’t want to void the trade. They wanted to trade Smyth (who asked for it) and now they can’t afford him anyway. This also came on the heels of the dispute involving Gilbert Brule, who was not allowed to be traded to/bought out by the Kings. It’s a lot of fun, really. Here’s what Lombardi said about the dispute…
LOMBARDI: “We’ve had a couple talks with the league. We’ll probably know a little more by the end of the day. I guess it’s far to say that (league lawyer) David Zimmerman is trying to play King Solomon again, in a good way.”
Question: Are you looking to have Fraser returned to Edmonton (and just keep the draft pick)?
LOMBARDI: “Just something that is fair. And it shouldn’t be that hard, given what we understood. So I’m open to anything. That’s kind of what we told David. Anything that’s fair. David has been involved in this. He knew exactly what happened with Brule, so he’s kind of had to walk through this whole thing too. So there are a number of avenues to correct it.”