Lombardi gives all the details on the Simon Gagne trade

Veteran forward Simon Gagne was traded by the Kings on Tuesday for a conditional draft pick. He’s headed back to Philadelphia after being a healthy scratch for the last four games and playing only 11 times this season. LA General Manager Dean Lombardi participated in a conference call with the media this afternoon to discuss the deal and a myriad of other topics – including his defense, trade options, the readiness of prospects in Manchester and much more. So, let’s get started with the quotes…

– On Simon Gagne not fitting in with Darryl Sutter’s system: “There’s just a number of things. Obviously you have a veteran player who’s game is clearly defined. He’s a very good player, wasn’t fitting in so to speak. That said, this is still a good NHL player who has proven it on a good team. So, you don’t look at it …unless you feel very comfortable with what you have coming through the minors. Not the same thing, but it’s similar when you move Jack Johnson for Carter because you know you have Voynov coming through. We feel pretty good about our depth up front in the system. So that opens up a roster spots. That’s one of the things very underestimated in juggling, particularly in this shortened season, is juggling roster positions and having access to players. This frees up a roster spot, allows us some flexibility, and obviously gives us some flexibility in terms of space and cash at the deadline.’

– On if a player will be called up from Manchester to fill the roster spot: “No, I don’t think. You still have Brad Richardson there in the, I guess you’d call it the 13th hole. And don’t forget we’re looking at, when I talk about roster – and I don’t want to get too complicated – I think we’re probably headed toward carrying eight D and (stick with) the forwards. So, that’s the other thing we’re looking at because Marty (Alec Martinez) could be coming back here shortly, and you know we’ll see about Willie Mitchell and stuff. But I think, given the way the premium is placed on defensemen now, we would probably only tighten up the roster and have eight current defensemen and one extra forward, and use those kids that can go up and down as guys that can go up and down and don’t take up a roster spot unless there’s an injury.”

– On the statuses of Martinez and Willie Mitchell: “Martinez is certainly on schedule. I don’t know if I can put a number on it, but originally I think we were looking at two to four weeks. And I still think that’s in the ballpark here. So safe to say, the original prognosis still holds. Greener (Matt Greene) might be a little ahead of schedule, but that’s still a ways off given the gravity of the injury. And Willie, I guess it’s fair to say, the one good thing that’s happened here in the last couple days or so is he did say something fairly positive to our trainer in terms of possibly coming back. He had another procedure done today that he thought helped him. The last time – and I don’t want to get into medical terminology, but no it’s not steroids or anything – it’s something he wanted to try.  So, apparently he did this a couple weeks ago and it helped him. He’s doing it again now, and we’re kind of still in that same holding pattern. That’s the frustrating thing. You can say the time table on Marty or the time table on Greener, but there’s really no time table here (for Mitchell). So it is what it is.”

– On if Gagne asked for a trade and the Flyers being the only team in the mix: “No he didn’t. So no at this point, having done it today. …This is a good player who I’ve known a long time. And I know if he wanted to go anywhere, that would be the place he wanted to go. So I figured (his worth) was probably was around a third at the deadline if I wanted to do it then. I kind of did it a way that it’s got a contingency of a fourth to a third. So, I was satisfied with that – and putting him in a place that I know he’d be happy. This is a player that came to us as a free agent. So he chose us at the time. Given that we had to do this and I have a choice, I was certainly going to put him where I know he’ll be happy. Judging from when I talked to him today he was very pleased with it and mentioned that if he had sat out much more he was probably going to come and see me. But you know, for a guy that’s had a storied career and started there, there’s an intangible here that hopefully works for both of us.”

NOTE: The Kings now have nine draft picks in the 2013 draft (second round, third round, fourth round, fourth round from Philadelphia, fourth round from Carolina, fifth round, sixth round, seventh round, seventh round from Dallas). They lost their first round pick via the Jeff Carter trade with Columbus.

– Lombardi said Mitchell received something similar to the platelet rich plasma therapy that several NBA players have been using: “It’s called P-something. I don’t want to say PCP, I know that’s wrong because we all know what PCP is. It’s some acronym. I’m not sure what it is.”

– On the Gagne trade not being based on performance, but on cap space and future plans: “No, I said the money is secondary.  The player wasn’t, I think the term used was ‘fitting in’ – not being in the lineup.  So I think the first question, ‘Okay this probably isn’t fitting right now.’  However, as we saw with our defense, you can be banged up in a hurry. If it was just that; I’m not going to do it unless I have some kids in the minors that I think they’re ready for their shot. That’s the primary consideration; those two. The byproduct of it is, yes – it frees up space, you get a draft pick that you can use at the draft table or can use later in a trade.  But this was not in any way motivated by cash and space, per se.  Heck we have plenty of space. For this year we have 7 million in space. So no, but it’s a byproduct of it. It’s not the motivating factor.”

There was much more discussed during the call.  Please use the related link below to read the next batch of quotes.

RELATED ARTICLE: Lombardi on upcoming trade options and what they have in Manchester

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  1. Unless he means fitting in the locker room, they never gave him a chance to fit in.
    I felt he was the best possible fit for mike and jeff, for a couple of reasons. First off lewis has had some success, but brad richardson has had success with kopitar before and we still know him to be a 4th line guy. 2nd dustin penner is commanding the 3rd line. I feel if he’s not there the 3rd line is not in the offensive zone much at all so I wouldn’t move him. Also, for the most part mike and jeff play quick minded hockey. They give you a lot of looks with tempo. Gagne would have slotted in there nicely.
    Now looking at gagne he did not play much at all under sutter. 11 games. 11 games in which he was shuffled around and the kings were struggling for offense. Yet he put up points in half his games, even playing the 4th line at times. At times.
    I saw him with jeff and mike, but lets face it mike was a fat skating tube of salomi for the first 5-8 games. Unless it was the pads, it was the fattest id seen him in his career. Mike also had to find his way often playing the 4th line as well while Jeff centered the 2nd.
    So a guy who had surgery, when most doctors didn’t even want to do it, just to get back, a guy who was skating better than id seen him skate in 3 years was bounced around the group and eventually scratched. All the while he had a spot calling his name the entire time. I feel he would have slotted into the 2nd line like penner has on the 3rd.
    I assume fitting into sutters system meant “if you perform you play”. Hey hes coming off a concussion season he hasn’t had the game time yet. Consistent time with mike and jeff was what he needed. I understand short season, but those two carry that line anyhow what’s the hurt in putting him in and letting him figure it out. I think this is a misuse of players. Matt Moulson etc.. I wont go down the list the fans already know.
    I can be proven wrong, and maybe those guys in the minors are ready, but he was not given a chance to fit in. This trade seems very unnecessary considering they want to repeat and im pretty sure gagne only missed the playoffs once or twice in his career. Talk about experience. pretty much dean just wanted a draft pick, don’t say he wasn’t fitting in.

  2. Sincerely Peter Brand. I hope Dean likes the moneyball reference.


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