Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dean Lombardi: riverboat gambler, frequent pudding eater

"You really don't think my ample power play time inflated my stats in 06/07?"

Poor Rachel Hunter: if only she would have waited a month or two, she could have got an engagement ring almost two-thirds bigger than the one her mildly concussed boytoy dropped on her former-supermodel finger.

Word from the land of movie stars and swimming pools is that Jarret Stoll just got a nice little raise, signing a contract worth $14 million over four years. So, in a little over two months in LA, Jarret Stoll has got engaged to a former supermodel and received a million-dollar pay raise: Raffi Torres, meanwhile, has been reduced to doing cocaine of the ass of a lowland gorilla with Jack Hanna.

Anyway, you have to wonder what, if anything, LA GM Dean Lombardi is thinking here, throwing Jeff Finger money at a dude who spent most of last year putting his skates on the wrong foot and trying to order hot dogs from the bench, or whatever the fuck it was Stoll was doing to manage a whopping 15 points at even strength last year. (Fun fact: Marty Reasoner, who played slightly easier minutes than Stoll with far worse teammates—and who has all the offensive prowess of lobster bisque—scored 22 points at even strength last year.)

Sure, Stoll had a flash of usefulness in 06/07, proving to be a fairly solid second-line centre who could do some damage on the power play—that is, if by "do some damage" you mean "stand motionless waiting for a one-timer and let loose a cannon of a shot, if the balsa wood stick he insists on using doesn't disintegrate on contact"—but the last two years have seen some fairly serious injury trouble and some fairly serious outright sucking, which you would think would make a GM somewhat hesitant to drop gobs of cash on a guy for a decent term.

Granted, if Stoll regains his form—if you can even call it that, since he really only managed it for about a season and half—this will be a perfectly reasonable contract, but why in the sweet hell would Lombardi take that kind of chance? There's a very real possibility he just locked up a shitty third-line center who can only score on the powerplay for four years and $3.5 mil: I don't care how many awesome young forwards you have, your long-term prospects are not rosy if you insist on making these types of gambles.


Addicted-to-oil said...

Cap problems. The Kings have tonnes of money to spare, so why not spend it? Look for Sullivan to get a huge raise too. They're so far below the salary floor right now they can't actually ice a team according to the CBA.
I agree, long term this is going to bite the Kings in the ass - especially when it comes time to resign Frolov, Brown, Kopitar, and Johnson...

mike w said...

I was just going in to chime in on the cap, but L.A. surely had it's pick of overpaid players out there to trade for that would be better gambles to retain their value. Anaheim's gotta dump someone (Schneider is the obvious fit with only year left at $5.625 million) to stay under the cap, with the added bonus of whoever gets traded won't even have to move to a new house!

That said, Stoll gets a bit of a bad rap. He was a good Oiler in the broader sense of the word.

The caption for the photo above should have been:

"Now may I touch your other boob?"

Hockeysmack said...

Bad contract, especially if he shits the bed next year. On the bright side, Handzus only has 3 years and $12 million left on his deal. Nice work Dean-O!

Matt said...

This is the next-to-last site (before where I ever expected to see a you're mistake.

Anyway, since it's a hockey player, I assume Stoll is pulling the old "you got something on your tie... ha, gotcha".

mike w said...

A "your/you're" mistake? Where?

*Poof!* It's gone!

DMFB said...

This is the next-to-last site (before where I ever expected to see a you're mistake.

I'm so ashamed I'm considering self-immolation.

DMFB said...

And yeah, to the cap space thing: I get that, but why lock him up for four years then? It's really the combination that makes this kind of a baffling contract.

andy grabia said...

Even in alerting you guys to a typo, Matt had to profess his love of Cosh. Colby should keep his bum away from Fenwick.

mike w said...

but why lock him up for four years then?

Fair enough. But the whole panic-to-sign thing is a factor.

PS: I have a rare Cosh typo stashed away in my hope chest.

DMFB said...

Colby should keep his bum away from Fenwick.

I don't think Fenwick could afford enough booze to get Cosh unguarded enough for that to be an issue. I've seen that man consume enough rye to floor a team of Shetlands, and he wasn't even slurring.

On an unrelated note, I hope hockey starts soon.

MikeP said...

"This is the next-to-last site (before where I ever expected to see a you're mistake."

Stepdaughter came home with a handout from school demonstrating such a mistake. In response to my "Un-fucking-believable" comment she said, "Well, she's a science teacher," as if that explained everything.

Haysus wept.

Kent W. said...

Pic caption:

"Whoa. These roofies work quick.

Agreed on the contract. One of the few benefits of signing a player who just had a really shitty year is leverage in negotiations.

Addicted-to-oil said...

Mike - From everything I've read Burke is only trying to ship Schneider to an Eastern team. Whether that's something Schneider wants, or something Burke wants I don't know - but I'm guessing it's simply a move for Burke to keep his team as strong as possible without helping out a divisional rival. Sending Schneider to LA could spell one less win for Anaheim against LA this year...

Burke still seems (like everyone) to be waiting for Sundin to make his decision before he moves Schneider. Selanne's ready to go and training camp starts soon so I'd like to see Burke make the move so he can sign Selanne.

cristobal said...

This is classic stuff. I'm in LA. A reluctant Kings fan. I've been hammering Lombardi for weeks on Kings blogs, but people support him. I questioned why you give the guy a mil + raise after a poor season. I really believe Lumbo is digging his own grave (and the King's), but they all tell me i'm wrong. I didn't see any of Stoll last year, really. The scouting report here scares the shit outta me, though. We've already suffered the overpaid wastes of Cloutier, Handzus, Calder, Preissing, McCauley, Nagy, and we've taken on a big contract in Gauthier and he spent last season in the AHL. Can the Kings at least count on Greene to be steady? I hope Visnovsky helps Edmonton. He's a quality player who's been on some pretty useless teams. We'll see what happens with the Lombardi-rejected Blake, Visnovsky, and Cammalleri soon.


DMFB said...

This contract got even worse when I found out that Stoll is making more than both Dustin Brown and Alex Frolov this year. Stoll could well rebound—and honestly, if you get post-lockout, pre-concussion Stoll, it's a pretty okay contract, though that's a decent-sized if at this point—but I'll shit my pants if he contributes more to the team than either of those guys this season.

As for Greene, well: let's just say if you're hoping he'll be the gem of Visnovsky deal, you're in for a long couple of years. He could very well turn into a reliable bruiser at some point in his career, but you shouldn't expect much more of him than to hit third- and fourth-liners for the time being.

That said, I don't know how much you can hammer Lombardi for that particular trade: it seemed like a GM recognizing that the team's success window wasn't going to coincide with the prime contract years of an aging player. In a cap world, it's a fairly sensible move, though admittedly less so if you end up blowing just as much money on two lesser players.