You're kidding, right? Oiler fans think LOMBARDI acted badly??

Before you burst out laughing, let's at least do our best to see if they have a point. After all, it's possible we're just such Kings homers that we can't see Lombardi without the halo. Let's walk through the undisputed facts. Oh, by the way, we're talking about the Ryan Smyth trade, in case you didn't know that.

  • Same day: Bob McKenzie contradicts Smyth and says he stands by his original story.
  • Same day: Helene Elliott quotes Lombardi confirming that he did talk to Smyth about this, but would like to keep those conversations private. She reports that "Smyth, citing his family's best interests and preference for the city where he began his career, had his agent talk to Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi about a trade." Elliott tweets that another source says Smyth "wants out for family reasons." All of this turns out to be true.
  • 6/23/11 - Elliotte Friedman, EJ Hradek and Dennis Bernstein tweet details of Lombardi's conference call on the Mike Richards trade, in which Lombardi says Smyth asked to be traded "two months ago." Lombardi calls it "a soap opera I've had to deal with for a month and a half."
  • 6/24/11 - The LA Times reports that Smyth has been traded to the Oilers for Gilbert Brule and a pick. The Times indicates that the Kings intend to trade Brule ASAP. Rich Hammond indicates a buy-out is possible.
  • As was eventually reported by The Copper & Blue, "The Oilers submitted documentation to the Kings concerning Brule's status and Lombardi consulted with the league lawyers."
  • 6/25/11 - It turns out Brule is injured.
  • 6/26/11 - Tambellini tells reporters that Brule "has been cleared to play for a long time."
  • 6/26/11 - Tambellini tells reporters that Brule is "100% healthy."
  • 6/26/11 - Lombardi responds to Tambellini's false assertion by telling Rich Hammond that the NHL lawyers informed the Kings that according to the rules Brule is injured and so can't be bought out.
  • Dreger reports that Brule is suffering from post-concussion depression.
  • Copper & Blue describes it thusly: "Dreger cleared up the difference in positions on TSN Radio, reporting that Brule was suffering from depression, perhaps related to concussions. The Team 1260's Dustin Nielson tweeted Dreger's information, and the two inadvertently revealed the true extent of Brule's injuries, something the Edmonton media wouldn't do at any point during the 2010-11 season."
  • Tambellini criticizes Lombardi for making Brule's "personal issues" public, despite the fact that it was the Canadian press. [still looking for a link to this...anyone have it?] I don't see how having post-concussion symptoms is a "personal issue," but I guess that's Tambellini's way of claiming Brule is both healthy and injured at the same time. Nice try.
  • Tambellini and Lombardi work out a new deal that sends Colin Fraser to LA in exchange for Smyth.
  • Lombardi says Fraser will compete for a spot in the fall.
  • Smyth admits that he asked for a trade.
  • 6/30/11 - A subsequent medical exam by Kings doctors discovers that Fraser, too, is injured, and will miss the first two months of the season.
  • 6/30/11 - Dan Tencer tweets: "Stauffer reports that the Oilers indicated the injury to Colin Fraser in the trade memo and that an 'as is' situation was agreed to." The Oilogosphere will repeat the "as is" meme ad infinitum; but see Tambellini's definition of "is", below. (hint: "as is" = "is ready to begin full training next week" -- and, to state the obvious, if he's not ready to start training as stated, he is not "as is." He's "as isn't.")
  • 6/30/11 - Edmonton Journal reports that the Oilers' doctors said Fraser's foot was healed.
  • 6/30/11 - Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports Tambellini's insistence that Fraser, according to Edmonton's medical team, will be ready for full training within the week.
  • Kings miffed by Fraser's injured foot in Smyth deal

    "Our medical people were quite clear and consistent and confident with their assessment of Colin," said Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini. "He had time in the off-season to rehab his foot. There was some delay (healing) with it, but our doctors told us he could begin full training for the upcoming season by Wednesday.

    "Post-trade, our doctors have spoken with their doctor, who wasn’t totally familiar with Colin and explained their assessment to him. The conversation went very well," Tambellini continued. "What they decide to do with the player is up to them. He’s their player."

    Tambellini said, in no way, would they try to rejig the trade now.

    Fraser, who was a late addition to the Smyth package when the Kings balked at taking Gilbert Brule because he hadn’t been cleared to play because of concussion issues, knows his foot isn’t healing. But he’s in the dark as to how bad it is. "I can’t talk until I get all the facts. I’m still waiting to hear about seeing a foot specialist," said Fraser, who was promised a chance to make the Kings rather than be bought out as Brule was going to be.

  • 7/8/11 - Lombardi responds to Tambellini's new round of falsehoods in an interview with Helene Elliott:
  • Kings' Dean Lombardi blasts Edmonton Oilers over Ryan Smyth trade -

    Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, contending the Edmonton Oilers have twice traded him players who are not able to play, said Friday he will "look at our legal avenues" to get a remedy. "The bottom line for me, I would have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton’s word," Lombardi said.

    Lombardi initially agreed to take forward Gilbert Brule in exchange for left wing Ryan Smyth but balked when he said the Kings’ lawyers determined Brule had not been procedurally cleared following a concussion. [...] Lombardi agreed to instead take center Colin Fraser and a seventh-round pick in the 2012 draft.

    Lombardi said he knew Fraser had suffered a fractured foot last season but was told Fraser was days away from being cleared.

    However, Lombardi said the Kings’ doctors found not only an unhealed fracture but an alarming cyst in Fraser’s foot and a blood disorder.

    Lombardi said Fraser will require surgery that would keep him out four months.

    Lombardi also said Tim Leiweke, the chief executive of the Kings’ parent company, AEG, tried to broker a settlement but the Oilers have not responded to the Kings’ requests for further discussions. "Tim has made several overtures to try and settle this in a fair manner to put the deal back where it’s supposed to and we’ve gotten no response," Lombardi said. "So the heck with it, we’ll look at our legal avenues right now.

    "This kid needs surgery now, which is going to put him out four months. It’s not even close. To be told he’s going to be cleared that Wednesday and now we get him and he’s clearly not cleared and to clear him he’s going to need surgery … and that’s the one [injury] they told me about, let alone the other two. On the heels of Brule? Holy smoke."

    He added, "In my 20 years I’ve never had this happen once, let alone twice in one week."

    So, to sum up:

    • Tambellini said Brule was 100% healthy and cleared to play.
    • The league said no, he isn't.
    • TSN reported that Brule was injured and had post-concussion depression.
    • Tambellini characterized Brule's injury as a "personal problem" that should have remained private.
    • Tambellini offers Fraser in trade, "as is" -- "as is" meaning that he will be cleared for full workouts on Wednesday of that week.
    • A week passes, and it turns out Fraser has multiple serious injuries that require surgery; he will be cleared to play sometime in November.
    • Tambellini asserts that he was told by Oiler doctors that Fraser would be ready by (the since passed) Wednesday and it's not his fault the Kings doctors have another opinion.
    • Lombardi says Tambellini is not quite as trustworthy as Bernie Madoff.
    • Edmonton fans say Lombardi is a whiner.
    I just read that there may be a resolution to this soon. Yay. Meanwhile, I don't really see how anyone can complain about Lombardi "going to the press" when he's responding to Tambellini's comments in the press in the first place.