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It’s A Matter Of Trust For Dean Lombardi, LA Kings, AEG

As reported in the first installment of this series (see Lombardi Answers His Critics), the Los Angeles Kings and President/General Manager Dean Lombardi are under heavy fire from a vocal segment of their fan base who are furious about the direction of the team, but they also have those who support their rebuilding efforts.

In this, the second and final installment in the series, Frozen Royalty takes a close look at one of the root causes of the Kings’ disconnect with their fans.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — These days, one has to wonder if Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has added “professional gambler” to his job title.

Indeed, given the serious gambling he has been doing, both with his roster and with his relations with Kings fans, it’s not hard to imagine Lombardi spending hours on end at a high-limit blackjack table at a Las Vegas strip casino.

But whether he is being dealt winning hands or losing ones is a debatable question.

For those who support the rebuilding efforts, Lombardi is clearly being dealt winning hands the majority of the time.

But for those who view his rebuilding efforts, his emphasis on youth, and his free agent acquisitions, among other actions, as a recipe for disaster, Lombardi is entering the third year of a losing streak that is so bad that he has not won a single hand while losing a fortune the size of the gross national product of United States.

“I did support him early on, but not now,” said Santa Barbara and Bakersfield, California resident Michael Simpson, 50, a season ticket holder since 2000 who did not renew his seats for the coming season. “I think he has made too many mistakes in hiring coaches, free agent signings [goaltender Dan] Cloutier is worth about three mistakes in and of itself, he has drafted strangely, and the team isn’t moving in the right direction. And the hiring of an unsuccessful, retread coach [in Terry Murray]? Lombardi needs to think outside of the box.”

A major theme among Lombardi’s detractors is that many believe emphasizing youth so much is not the way to bring the kids along.

“I agree with emphasizing a youth movement, but Lombardi has not been clear regarding whether this will be a youth movement where players who still have junior eligibility will find themselves on the [National Hockey League] roster or not,” said David Willis, 34, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, who has followed the Kings closely for twenty years. “What will the ‘cut-off’ between seeing what the prospects can do at the NHL level versus letting the prospects develop at lower levels of competition be? What happened to the philosophy of not putting prospects into situations they are not ready for?”

“I think he has too much faith in young talent,” said Simpson. “There is a long tradition of players that ‘can’t miss’ and do. At least with [Anze] Kopitar, he wasn’t over-hyped before coming here, so we were pleasantly surprised—at least I was.”

Lombardi’s critics also point to his record of free agent signings as another set of losing hands.

“Every unrestricted free agent signing made by Lombardi has failed to achieve the results that he stated as the reason for signing them,” Willis lamented. “Lombardi must receive a failing grade in this category if he were being given a performance evaluation. Even this off-season, with the number of needs on the blue line, Lombardi’s signings [he has signed no free agents this summer as of this writing] need to be viewed as a failure.”

“I have been sorely disappointed with the free agent signings [Lombardi] has done,” said Trabuco Canyon, California resident Eugene Ngo, 31, who has been a Kings fan for fifteen years. “However, I understand that you can only get scraps such as Ladislav Nagy, Kyle Calder, etc. when no one else wants to come to Los Angeles. Lombardi has had to take on a lot of high-risk signings [such as] Michal Handzus coming off massive knee surgery and an aging Rob Blake who was a shadow of his former self when he signed him in 2006. So far, the moves have not paid off.”

“NHL free agent signings have been horrible,” said Charles Emerson, 39, a resident of Tustin Ranch, California and a Kings fan for 31 years. “Not one has made an impact and some have been almost ridiculous in their lack of productivity in comparison to cost. I mean, a complete strike out on all fronts. It is so bad, it isn’t even comical. What a complete waste of money.”

“Let us not forget the worst signing that was just acknowledged: [former head coach Marc] Crawford who lasted all of two years.”

Indeed, many look at Lombardi’s hiring of Crawford as head coach as another bad bet.

“He screwed up by going with Marc Crawford, potentially wasting two years of better results and youth development,” Ngo fumed. “Lombardi knew he had to find someone that is both willing to teach younger players and has the ability to do so. Crawford probably expressed a willingness to work with young players. However, Lombardi made a bad judgment call in deciding that he had the right make-up to actually be able to do this.”

“Looking at Crawford’s history, he has coached mostly older players that are at least playoff contenders and he has the reputation of being a screamer,” Ngo elaborated. “These qualities did not seem to mesh well with young kids who are prone to make mistakes and are not as strong mentally as older veterans are.”

“It is possible that Lombardi was blinded by the brightness of the Stanley Cup ring Crawford wore and decided that having a winning coach was important, hence the hiring of Dave Lewis as an assistant coach as well,” Ngo continued. “In this case, it almost seems like a reputation for winning was more important than a reputation for teaching.”

And then there was what many believe is Lombardi’s worst loss at the blackjack table, when he took a sucker bet and lost big-time…the trade for beleaguered goaltender Dan Cloutier and then signing him to a contract extension before he had played a single game for the Kings.

“One word…Cloutier. First impressions matter. Honestly, Lombardi will always have that monkey on his back,” said Bruce Cameron, 60, of Sherman Oaks, California, a Kings fan since 1981. “Even today, we’ve never heard his explanation for that contract extension. Yes, he said it was a mistake. Bravo for stating the obvious.”

“It’s been badly uphill for Lombardi ever since that decision, and I can’t say as I blame anyone who holds it against him,” added Cameron.

THE DEPTHS OF DISTRUST

Lombardi’s detractors are a vocal, opinionated bunch and they are more vocal and probably more angry than they might normally be. Why? A likely reason is that a considerable number of fans, both detractors and supporters alike, share a very deep distrust of the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the owners of the Kings.

Indeed, many believe that AEG, an entertainment and real estate conglomerate with assets all over the world, does not care one bit about their NHL club.

Such allegations have been made in the past, and AEG and the Kings have always denied them. But that has done little to nothing to change attitudes among the skeptics.

“I do not trust AEG,” Emerson explained. “They are an entity that is only concerned with their Downtown project, revenue and their worldwide interests. The Kings are merely a piece of their empire and they needed them to get themselves further into the Los Angeles sports scene.”

“[AEG] would have purchased any team that was available,” Emerson added. “Lombardi is their latest mouthpiece and is under their thumb just like [former general manager Dave] Taylor was. “The recent cost-cutting moves and the inability, or should I say, refusal, to use the resources on NHL-ready talent is a clear indication that the only thing that is important is to make the Kings into at least a small loss in terms of return on investment until they get their projects complete.”

“AEG seems like nothing more than an entity interested in keeping the Kings as a cost-effective piece of their portfolio and whether they develop a winner or not is not what they ultimately care about,” said Emerson. “We have no veteran leadership and all it looks like is that the team is shedding salary and doing nothing with the money saved.”

The distrust of AEG has clearly landed firmly on Lombardi’s shoulders—to the point where not only do fans distrust Lombardi, but they also believe that ownership is once again calling the shots and giving Lombardi marching orders in terms of player personnel decisions, a problem that has plagued the Kings throughout their history.

“At the time of his hiring, I believed Lombardi,” said Willis. “However, now that he is entrenched in the job, with his reputation on the line, I can no longer believe him when he says that AEG does or does not interfere in hockey-related decisions.”

“No I do not take Lombardi’s word on it,” said Ngo. “This is not about Lombardi so much as it is an indictment of AEG. I understand hockey is a business and, as owners, it is up to them to run the club as they see fit. However, the Kings led to Staples Center which led to the Nokia Theatre which is leading to their big downtown renovation project, LA Live. Now for them to raise ticket prices and claim losses is an insulting, bald-faced lie.”

“During times when the Kings were loading up for playoff runs, AEG was screaming for cost certainty and the promises of low ticket prices and quality players it would bring,” added Ngo. “I agree with rebuilding through youth, which happens to be cheap, but to raise prices after the NHL achieved the cap they wanted and after one of the worst seasons in Kings history is ridiculous. They have promised a lot and failed to follow through on the most important ones. What have they done to gain our trust?”

Of course, some fans are more colorful than others in expressing their feelings.

“AEG is a land development company,” said Cameron. “I’m sure they can give you chapter and verse on tax breaks, loan points and potential square footage profit for a large sports arena or hotel complex. However, when someone mentions that the LA Kings need a left handed shot at the blue line, they seem certain it pertains to some trendy mixed bar drink using Curacao.”

“As wonderful as Staples Center is I find it fascinating that there is no ‘owners box,’” added Cameron. “That, in itself, tells you the connection between the Titans of Investments and the LA Kings. Trust‘em? No how and no way. When I see Phil Anschutz with open tie and rolled up sleeves looking all red-faced as he screams down to [NHL referee] Rob Schick for some blown call then I’ll know the owner of the Kings gives a crap about the Kings.”

MENDING FENCES

One thing you have to give Lombardi credit for…he knows that Kings fans are loyal and are dying for a winner. To be sure, even before he took over as President/General Manager of the Kings, he saw how committed Kings fans are.

In fact, he was shocked.

“Totally. No idea,” said Lombardi. “And I’ve got to tell you…that’s the honest truth. I saw that though when I was scouting for Philly and things weren’t going well during a part of the season because you have to sit up high when you’re scouting and there’s those people in the upper bowl and I remember saying, I think it was to [Kings pro scout] Bob Berry who was scouting for St. Louis, ‘these people are crazy. [The Kings aren’t] very good right now and [Kings fans are] still here and they’re going wild.’”

“I saw it again on fan appreciation day two years ago,” added Lombardi. “The worst team in the league battling Phoenix for last place and the building is filled. There’s no doubt, no way that in Phoenix or St. Louis—teams who go through a stretch of four playoff appearances in fifteen years—would have that many core people still in the building. Phoenix would be empty. This place has never emptied out like Phoenix did right away and St. Louis, as soon as they went downhill, they emptied.”

“The biggest thing is the passion of the fans and that’s not BS. I don’t kiss up to people. I’m shocked that the way we’ve played the past couple of years at the NHL level that the building is still solid core.”

With such a dedicated, loyal fan base, Lombardi has definitely envisioned what could be.

“This place, there’s a core here,” he stressed. “The potential here is unlimited if you could go back and create a contender for them because if they’re holding now through fifteen years of four playoff appearances and one playoff round win, what in the world are they going to be like if you give them something to be really proud of?”

“I don’t know if you could say, other than Canada, what other team has continued to have a solid core still in that building through that much losing,” he added. “You might have a hard time finding that in other sports, let alone hockey. It’s unbelievable.”

To that end, Lombardi is trying to improve the current team.

“Ideally, I’d like to get a left shot defenseman,” said Lombardi. “That’s what we’re looking at. But I’ve got to get a guy that fits financially where I am now and also a contract that doesn’t bump into next year unless it’s the right one.”

“We’ve been in on a few things, but again, it’s got to be a one-year guy, a left shot because I’m looking for a possible partner for [defenseman prospect Drew] Doughty, if Doughty’s ready,” added Lombardi. “But like I said, it’s got to be a guy who fits for us. But I’d like to ideally add that type of veteran defenseman.”

But the defenseman who many guess is at the top of Lombardi’s wish list, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Mathieu Schneider, comes with a hefty $5.75 million price tag.

“One of the things that’s hurt, and the league has had this issue in the past—[Anaheim general manager] Brian Burke was a big advocate of assuming salaries,” Lombardi explained. “The theory of not allowing people to assume salaries would help the big market teams with big payrolls. Now we’re finding that if guys like that—we could get a salary spread, it would be a lot easier for us.”

Lombardi also indicated that it is possible that Doughty could make the Kings opening night roster, but he was certainly not going to rush him.

“We’ll play it day-to-day,” Lombardi said about Doughty. “It’s like Kopitar. Everybody knew he was a heck of a prospect. But you just let him come in, let him play through the rookie games and just keep evaluating. That’s what Kopitar did the second year. He just kept showing you ‘I’m ready’ and it’s up to him to show us he’s ready.”

“Does he have the potential? Yes. But there’s a lot of variables that go into that,” Lombardi emphasized. “Don’t forget that Kopitar went back [to play in Europe] for a year. Secondly, defense is way harder to break in and that’s always the issue—buliding a back end is a lot tougher than building the front end.”

“The one thing that gives him an edge for a young player is his hockey sense,” Lombardi elaborated. “If you can play smart, you’ve got a chance to break in sooner. Even guys like [Chris] Pronger, in terms of hockey sense, he was off the charts. But even he struggled in Hartford his first year and arguably, it was one of the reasons they traded him because they ruined him and he had to move somewhere else, so I’m very cognizant of the history.”

Whether Doughty makes the Kings lineup in 2008-09 or later, Lombardi has a vision of the defensive core his team so desperately needs.

“What excites me is the potential of a [defensive] core,” said Lombardi. “There’s two times this franchise has had that core of its own. You had [Larry] Murphy, [Mark] Hardy, [Jay] Wells and if you had [Raymond] Bourque, holy smoke! And then you had Blake, [Alexei] Zhitnik and [Darryl] Sydor. Two of those guys got traded in really short-term thinking deals and Blake leaves in a contract dispute.”

“Let’s try it again but get it right,” added Lombardi. “Doughty, [Jack] Johnson has the potential, [Thomas] Hickey, you’ve got [Colten] Teubert in the mix, [Matt] Greene is still young enough to fit in. I don’t want to force a guy in there at the expense of not putting that together the right way. You saw how I feel about making predictions because I think we have to do that here, but the kids just have to go play and be the best they can be.”

Lombardi also pointed out that there is a big difference between a just-drafted prospect and one who has “paid his dues.”

“I think there’s a difference when a kid has paid his dues, and this is one thing why I sent [center Brian] Boyle and [right wing Teddy] Purcell back [to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate],” Lombardi explained. “I told them and they weren’t very happy about going back, they thought they were NHL’ers. I said. ‘No. You’re not done with your training. There’s a big difference between playing in this league when you’re expected to win and playing when your team is thirty points out of the playoffs. I need you to go down there and get that team into the playoffs. Both of you guys.’”

“They went down there and did it,” Lombardi elaborated. “They’ve paid their dues and you’ve got to be careful when you say this, but they have earned the right to come to camp with a job to lose. So some of your kids, when they’re in the development process, it’s like some kids, you look at them and say you can win a job, but it ain’t there for you now. But a kid who has come through the system and done it right, I think they have earned the right for me to create a spot for them to take. But if you screw up I’ll adjust and not force you into that hole.”

“The kids who have paid their dues are [defenseman Peter] Harrold, Boyle, Purcell, and [forward Matt] Moulson. And the rest? You’ve got to come and show me you can take the job.”

And once again, Lombardi stressed that getting younger is an absolute necessity.

“If you want to win a [Stanley] Cup, you’re going to have to go back to the draft table and bring in bridge players or older players [to bide time until the young prospects develop],” said Lombardi.

In looking at a chart showing the development stages of his young players, both with the Kings and throughout their system, Lombardi said, “Some guys are going to disappoint you and then maybe you’re going to have a guy like [Boyle] or it might be Hickey. But these guys are all still very young. The point is, if I came here 24 months ago, you had nothing like this. Your minor league team was one of the oldest in the league. You were winning, but you were old. It means nothing.”

“We’ll be one of the younger teams in Manchester again,” Lombardi added.

IT ALL COMES BACK TO TRUST

One thing Lombardi must get credit for is his candor in addressing his critics among the fans while under heavy fire, especially given the fact that his predecessor, Dave Taylor, had a style where he kept everything very close to the vest.

To be sure, compared to Taylor, Lombardi is an open book, and, in terms of the trust issue, he indicated that he has gotten the resources he has asked for from AEG.

“The biggest thing when I came here was number one, I want to know what you’re going to spend on scouting and development because the history isn’t good here and you’re not going to win without it,” he stressed. “Have I gotten the resources for that? Absolutely. And our development program has had some hurdles, but I haven’t been denied the necessities to do that.”

“The second part, again, it’s not what you say, it’s what you do,” he explained. “I certainly recommended not trading Doughty and [ownership] agreed with that. Those are the two instances where you get a test of what I believe in and did you give me this. In terms of going forward, there’s always going to be a series of tests along the way and I think that’s what happened with those picks before [when the team traded away one first-round pick after another]. That’s not a GM making those deals. That’s an owner giving you orders.”

Indeed, that was exactly the case in years past as Kings owners going back to their first owner, Jack Kent Cooke, all traded away first round picks and meddled in many other player personnel decisions.

“I haven’t gotten [pressure from ownership], like Rogie [Vachon] and those other [Kings general managers] got about having to get a star in here,” said Lombardi. “I think they know that’s probably not the way to go.”

“I don’t recommend trading the picks or trading kids unless I’ve decided, like with [forward prospect Lauri] Tukonen, let’s flop’em because I don’t think anything’s coming there,” added Lombardi. “Right now, as long as we don’t cut on scouting and development—there’s going to be a time…I’m not immune to trading picks like I said for [forward Brad] Richardson or making that type of deal down the road once we get our young assets. So in terms of actions, yeah. But there’s always tests.”

Indeed, ownership behaving properly—keeping its nose out of hockey operations—is key.

“What you hit on is critical,” said Lombardi. “You look at the franchises that have had great success—you hear [Detroit Red Wings general manager] Kenny Holland talk about Detroit…it starts off at the top. There’s a structure in place. There’s no dual voices. There’s a plan and you stick with it and there’s no chaos. [Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed] Snider in Philadelphia. Great owner. Totally understands where the line is and there are no lines you get from [Senior Vice President] Bob Clarke between him and Snider. [Boston Bruins Senior Advisor to the Owner] Harry Sindin’s thing with [Bruins owner Jeremy] Jacobs. It’s notorious for those franchises that have had success. It starts at the top. No crap getting into your locker room or buddy-buddy with players. No sidebar meetings with people who think they know the freakin’ game and then the owner starts getting nervous.”

“Whether you like it or not, you can’t read newspapers when you’re going through the building process,” added Lombardi. “So what you hit on is going to be critical going through it. Even the [owner of the National Football League’s] New England [Patriots, Robert] Kraft. It was all about [him]. But when [head coach Bill] Belichick went in there, uh uh. Now [Kraft] still gets his praise. But now it’s done the right way and there’s no question that it’s Belichick in charge.”

Lombardi also said he does indeed have the autonomy to run the Kings the way he sees fit…up to now, anyway.

“That’s what we’ll keep working on,” he said. “It’s going to be a test. So far? Yeah. And it’s a test every day though. I’m not going to bull you. To this point? I’ve gotten the scouting and development, we haven’t traded the picks. We’ve still got some work to do on our infrastructure, no doubt about it. At some levels, we’re at B+ levels, at some we’re at C+—not good enough. So we keep on plugging around.”

“Check with me next month. Ask me the same question. You’re not going to get BS. I’ll give you examples.”

The questions now are how deep does the distrust among fans run? Will Lombardi be able to pull fans back to his side or will they continue to believe that he is just feeding them more phony rhetoric?

One way or the other, the debate among fans, along with the shots fired at Lombardi, will rage on for the foreseeable future.


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15 Responses to It’s A Matter Of Trust For Dean Lombardi, LA Kings, AEG

  1. Bob Bobson says:

    This much is true, the man at least talks a lot. I am not sure if he does it to get around the question or if he really does talk a lot to answer a question.

  2. Pingback: Its A Matter Of Trust For Lombardi, Kings, AEG (Frozen Royalty) - Los Angeles Kings Hockey Fan Forum

  3. Me says:

    Thanks for the great article Gann!

  4. gumlegs says:

    Terrific article. Very well written and to the point. Many thanks.

  5. Wingding says:

    If that is to the point, I’d hate to see him beat around the bush.

  6. An Astute Observer says:

    How is Lombardi going to avoid rushing Doughty to the league, and possibly “ruining” him as happened to Pronger?

    The Kings only have five defensemen — Johnson, Preissing, Greene, Gauthier and Harrold. They need two more, and have extremely limited options. And what happens when, invariably, one or two of the guys I listed gets hurt?

    Doughty will be playing in the NHL this season, because Lombardi gutted this team’s depth on the blue line, and will have no choice but to play him.

    And if Doughty gets “ruined” Lombardi is to blame.

    For point of reference, I believe that only three defensemen in the past 10-15 years have made the jump straight from juniors to the NHL: Pronger, Hamrlik and Bouwmeester. All of those guys struggled mightily, and did not reach their potential for years (and some would argue that Pronger is the only one who reached his full potential).

  7. Wingding says:

    What about Hall of Famer, Rob Blake?

  8. Robert e Lee says:

    Thanks Gann for an incisive article. I felt I learned quite a bit from what was said. So if DL’s answers were really true, then I can totally stand behind him in support. And if not, then the brunt of comments that have been made would likely lead me to stop following hockey after this coming season. In any case, I will try to enjoy whatever product the Kings put on ice, allow myself to become a visible hockey fan once more and share my tickets with friends. Unlike some of the others, I can afford to take a wait-and-see attitude.

    Thus far, I’ve enjoyed watching Dustin Brown develop into a fine hockey player. I felt a bit of redemption at our getting Anze Kopitar into the fold-perhaps helping to erase a small part of my original views of Kings ownership when they traded Butch Goring away…And I hold out hope for Jason “barbed-wire” LaBarbera to finally break through this year and become the goalie I believe he can be-a leader. If he does so, Eric Ersberg has more than proven himself to be a fine backup goaltender. If JA does not come through, then a reverse of said two players would be just as good by thinking. We have three more goalies who can make some genuine progress if given some time and a lot of good coaching in the minor leagues.

    And I remain extremely curious to see what front lines will develop/evolve (?) during training camp. There is a ton of talent on this team and I can see no reason why the [former] UFree agents cannot walk in/move right in and take the slots they were supposed to take last year. But if they do not, we have some young talent itchin’ to move in…so look out. Perhaps our “D” will be questionable, but then again, we’ve had the shittiest luck of any hockey team in history. So why couldn’t we get a break…just this once? Everyone here already knows their names, so let’s just be hopeful and see how things develop! 31 days to opening day/32 days till opening night at Staples! GO KINGS!

    p.s. Gann, quick question-I know you do other things too, but I’ve had no luck thus far with this…can you give me an ideea as to who/whom I might contact regarding getting tickets to the Jan. 1st open air hockey game to be played at Wrigley Field in 2009?

    Many thx.
    Robert

  9. Gann Matsuda says:

    Without checking around, I would suggest the NHL web site, and the Chicago Blackhawks web site.

  10. cristobal says:

    “The second part, again, it’s not what you say, it’s what you do,” he explained. “I certainly recommended not trading Doughty and [ownership] agreed with that. – Trading Doughty? Already?

    I would love it if Lombardi actually said, “in all honesty, I couldn’t imagine coming into a better situation. I’ve got a billionaire owner, four of the best young forwards in the game and Boyle almost ready to go, and just need to build around Norstrom and Visnovsky at the back end. If we can get one of these goalies to perform for us, we should be in the playoffs in no time.”

    Instead, he introduces his new coach to the media with, “welcome to the toughest job in the NHL.”

    cheers?

  11. Robert e Lee says:

    THX Gann…will check there again. Perhaps they have added something…RL

  12. cristobal says:

    -“I don’t recommend trading the picks or trading kids unless I’ve decided, like with [forward prospect Lauri] Tukonen, let’s flop’em because I don’t think anything’s coming there,” added Lombardi. –

    Too bad he didn’t take that attitude with Crawford sooner. And Cloutier.

  13. Robert e Lee says:

    So on a lighter note…lol…did anyone else catch the Calgary Herald’s report about Patrick O’Sullivan’s still having no contract? I’m probably the only one out here who is actually enjoying such stuff. Hopefully not everyone will get paranoid about such a story. I’m not leaving a link for fear of causing more disgust
    But, from this old warhorse…today was a birthday for yet another of my favorite past-heroes from the Los Angeles Kings. I cannot figure any other way for the general public to access it so am just setting this forth directly (if Gann thinks it’s wrong, just delete it). I hope you like it. Don’t worry, Gann is still a far better writer ;-) RL

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=26927262913&created&suggest

  14. DIEHARD the King Fan says:

    Thanks Gann, good reporting. but it doesnt sound like he answered (or maybe you didnt ask) is there or isnt there an internal spending cap a cash budget as rich ahmmond said that has been imposed on DL by AEG. If so, then its all just bluster and hot air. the best (worst)part of it though is that as long as he keeps talking in this internet/blogsphere age, he gets quoted and then is ts easy to spot the deflections and BS. The dirty harry snow job was/is the joke of the league, and he can’t evenget his players signed, so he is scared that someone might throw an offer sheet at one of our guys soone or later. that wouldnt be the case if AEG wasnt so cheap and just paid the players we need to keep the money they ought to be making

  15. Gann Matsuda says:

    I had a limited amount of time with Lombardi (after all, you can’t take up the guy’s entire day). I had over 20 questions for him, but I didn’t get a chance to ask most of them. One of those was the question about an internal cap. Of course, it wasn’t the highest on my list because Rich Hammond has already confirmed with him that there is.

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