Kings GM Dean Lombardi on who goes first – Voynov or Scuderi

We’ve already posted some of the Dean Lombardi quotes from today’s conference call. Yet, there’s even more!

Here, the Kings GM goes into one of the key issues he’ll be dealing with in the coming days and weeks – possible contract offers for Slava Voynov (restricted free agent) and Rob Scuderi (unrestricted free agent).

This is what Lombardi had to say…

On if the recent contract extension for Robyn Regehr means Scuderi won’t return:

“No, I think the hard part is, like I said, it’s unfortunate how this collective bargaining agreement worked for us, because clearly you guys have been here long enough to know that one of byproducts of ‘going slowly’ was to be able to build this thing and keep it together. We were clearly on that path with six-million in cap space this year, and brought the whole team back. There’s a bit of a vice here that, certainly you couldn’t have projected, that that number of contracts were up as you say, and the cap comes down.  I couldn’t, unlike the NFL for some reason, I’m not allowed to use that space I had this year to do a guy early, right? If we had the NFL, I would have started this process six months ago, and I’d say I have this six-million in cap space and I’m not going to acquire anybody, so let’s get some of these guys done now. Can’t do it. Now allowed.  Not sure why, but not allowed. So we’ve got a challenge here.

“But, I’m confident that we can meet it. It’s something that’s unfortunate. The only consolation teams got was (they were) able to buy out bad contracts. We don’t have a bad contract! Not one guy I want to get rid of! Basically, we’re being punished in a way by not having a bad contract. But the only consolation teams got was, OK, cap’s coming down and we’re going to give you a little break here because you couldn’t plan on a cap. But, the only thing you’re going to get is that bad contract you can get out of.  But, what about the teams that don’t?  We’re not one of them, ain’t one guy I want to say, ‘That’s a bad guy, let’s get rid of him.’  So, anyway, that said, we’ll figure it out.  I think we can do it, but it’s a challenge.  And it’s a little different too - you have to remember, when you see one guy get done, you can’t work on one guy in isolation. It’s a very different challenge than anything, personally, I’ve ever faced.

“If you give some here, this guy takes this, so it’s like a domino effect.  So, even though one gets done – and we’ve been talking to people and it’s a little awkward too because these informal discussions are going on during the playoffs, which I’m not in favor of. But, these are different circumstances, given the July 1st (deadline) and these seasons go well into the summer.  I think the other thing you have here right now, there’s no question that this is a very tight group.  There’s no question that we’ve solved the issue that this is a great, one of the best places in the country to live.  And now, we have the most important part, we have a good team with a good bunch of guys.  Now that environment takes over ten-fold.  I think we’re there now, where the most important thing is players want to be here because it’s a good team and they can win.  Now we take advantage of the fact that this is one of the best places in the world to live.  I think we’ve kind of got that, so I’m confident that these guys want to stay together without, you know, obviously depriving their families of being taking care of. We’ll see, but clearly we’ve got to get working on that right now.”

On the fact that even though you can’t do deals in isolation, there’s not a lot of money left to go around. So, is it more important to get a Scuderi deal done first? Then see what’s left for Voynov or the reverse?

“Kind of chicken and egg, isn’t it?  And part of that too, what you have to factor into that, there’s at least a difference between an unrestricted free agent and a restricted, right? So that enters into who you prioritize also. I don’t have a problem with that.  You can say, looking at it as a player, I do this, but there’s also the issue of a guy with seniority and he’s putting in more years, probably deserves consideration, not only morally because he has seniority, but also the agreement dictates that you probably have to move quicker because at least the other guys you have rights to.  So, it’s hard to answer your question, but trust me, these last two, three months when I saw what was happening here, and then losing Willie Mitchell, it’s – I’ve talked about having chemistry projects in the back room before, well we’ve taken this to a nuclear science now in terms of how you put these equations together.  I’m not disagreeing with what you’re saying, but I don’t think it’s cut as black and white as that.  It’s really hard, unless you guys want another really long, hour long answer, we just better probably leave it at that.”

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Additional notes and quotes from Lombardi and several Kings players can be found at the links below.

RELATED CONTENT:

Sunday media call – comments from Jonathan Quick

Sunday media call – Anze Kopitar says he’s not injured, doesn’t need surgery

Sunday media call – comments from Mike Richards

Sunday media call – Lombardi on the emotions of losing in 2013 playoffs

Sunday media call – Lombardi’s latest update on the status of Willie Mitchell’s future

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Comments

  1. Mik3ysfv says:

    Thanks for a great season of coverage, Jon. I can’t wait for the first full training camp under Darryl Sutter especially with all the talent in Manchester and in college. It should be one hell of a competitive camp. And I don’t care if we have to sign Rob Scuderi for 3 years, or more, he settles the kids down and teaches them the right way. It is going to be a long summer without hockey.

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  6. [...] putting together a 23-man roster and staying within next season’s $64.3 million cap is, as GM Dean Lombardi referred to the other day, a little bit like a nuclear science [...]

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