Now maybe I just haven't been paying attention (which I don't think is the case), but this is the first time I've seen this detail of the Johnson/Lombardi saga in print:
The Ann Arbor Chronicle " Column: Values Before Victories
But when the player who inspired Lombardi’s remarks, Jack Johnson – a former Michigan star who now plays for Lombardi’s L.A. Kings – heard about them, he told his coach he wasn’t getting dressed for their home game that night until Lombardi came down to apologize to him in person. Lombardi did just that, 15 minutes before warm up, and Johnson got dressed. You’ve got to admire Johnson’s conviction. He’s a great player, but Lombardi can send him any time he wants to any team he wants, including the minors. Johnson’s courageous stand, with little to gain and a lot to lose, tells you something about the kind of players that Michigan’s coaching staff develops.
The fact that this guy thinks Lombardi can send JJ to the minors makes me kind of doubt the whole thing. (Note to columnist: Johnson would have to clear waivers, which means he would pretty much instantly become property of the Edmonton Oilers, currently the worst team in the league and therefore first in line at the waiver buffet.)
But I would love to get clarification on this. You know, if there's someone out there with sources who knows things.