Day 51

The long days and sleepless nights continue for Dean Lombardi. Horribly wronged and forced to see his summer hobbled by evildoers, he waits and waits for justice while Gary Bettman sits by the pool and the Edmonton Oilers dance a jig. When will the madness end? 

The NHL is a funny league, always has been. Whereas most leagues decide on penalties in a clear and timely manner, the NHL goes about things like a 30 man club that makes things up as they go along. Which is, of course, what it is: a group of 30 guys doing whatever the hell they want.

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In this specific case, one imagines that the men at the ownership level would/could be involved and the issue resolved, but there’s also the very public comments by Mr. Lombardi which makes the story unique. Once Mr. Lombardi spoke to the media, the private club of 30 turned things over to the masses.


Whenever great minds are challenged by big problems, solutions are sure to follow. NHL history does offer us some clues about how this situation might turn out. In the fall of 1971, Oakland’s Seals and the Chicago (at the time) Black Hawks became entangled in a tug of war over a goalie named Gerry Desjardins. The Seals cried foul in training camp that fall because Desjardins was injured an unable to play.

NHL head man Clarence Campbell was asked to intervene into the battle by Oakland, but sent it back to the two teams and told them to solive it. And that’s what they did:

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I think the Oilers have the upper hand in this disconnect. It is completely possible for their doctors to have acted in good faith at the time of the deal and reported Colin Fraser’s injury as one that did not require surgery and or long term rehab. It is also possible LA’s doctors were correct is diagnosing Fraser’s injury as one that required action.

I don’t know for certain, but there’s a chance we never actually hear one damn thing about this ruling. If Bettman decides (as I’ve suggested) there’s a "no fault" situation then the league and member teams will go about their business. Perhaps Helene (not Helen) Elliott will get a quote from Mr. Lombardi (she appears to be a helluva reporter) in the distant future about the actual solution.

But we shouldn’t count on it. Unless there is a penalty, we may never know. Such are the trials of following 30 guys who belong to a club that makes up the rules as they go along.

  • Mason Storm

    I don’t see how the Oilers can possibly be at fault. Lombardi acquired one injured asset, found out and then acquired another injured asset. “Fool me once, jokes on you, fool me twice jokes on me.”

  • Jackie Treehorn

    Is there any reason to think that the Oiler doctors are not competent given the teams recent injury track record and the Brule, Fraser “incident”? Just a thought. Either way it probably doesn’t go in the “pros” column for potential free agents considering signing in Edmonton.

    • Oilers4ever

      Are you kidding me? I’ve said this a bazillion times… business law here people… It’s all about due diligence.. The Oil did theirs and the Kings could not be bothered to do theirs before approving the trade. Tough luck for them but the deal stands. The Oil did no wrong here. If you are too stupid (all fingers point at Deano here) to do your end before signing off on the trade then suck it up there oh ball-less wonder and deal with what you got. It’s the Kings no one is going to want to deal with for fear Deano will cry over everything.. not the Oil.

  • The Farmer

    Obviously Lombardi is dissatisfied with the trade no matter the outcome. He was painted into a corner by Smyth, and as such would never be happy with what happened. The whole Fraser/Brule thing just gave him an avenue to vent, as neither player has/had any future with the kings other than a buyout to save cap space, or at best a season in the minors.

    • I practically despise Tambellini and I wouldn’t even go that far. Competent doctors have wildly different diagnoses on a daily basis. Given the time lapse there is every reason to consider the possibility that they made an appropriate diagnosis until evidence is given to the contrary.

      Your assertion is based on nothing but a desire to be disagreeable. It’s a desire I completely understand, but there have to be limits.

    • Wax Man Riley


      Option #3: DSF hates everyone and everything Oilers related

      Option #4: DL did not do his due diligence on the trade

      Option #5: DL just got schooled by Tambo. If Tambo would have made a deal like this, ST haters would be saying how he is such an idiot and got worked by the other GM

  • The Oilers medical staff says the player is ready to begin offseason workouts in 4 days.

    The Kings’ medical staff, the NHLPA medical staff and a freaking surgeon who is bound by the Hippocratic oath decides the best course of treatment for Foster is SURGERY.

    Unless you believe Foster did not require surgery, which he very obviously did, Tambellini tried to sell damaged goods based on a faulty medical report.

    In either case, Tambellini is culpable and, coming off his stupid attempts to trade Brule who NHL LAWYERS ruled as untradeable, there is only one conclusion.


    • Lowetide

      Isn’t it possible the Oilers medical staff examined him after the season and then the injury worsened?

      And THEN the Kings doctors examined him to find the severity had increased?

      Also, the Oiler doctors took the same oath. Right?

    • Dyckster

      If you’re going to babble on in a mindless rant, at least get the subject matter correct. The article is about Fraser not Foster. FFS right back atchya.

    • derrickhands

      The problem with the Brule trade, was his condition hockey relate or not. If it wasn’t LA could of bought him out. That’s why the NHL lawyers were brought in. He was tradeable but he couldn’t be bought out, get your facts straight. Lombardi knew the condition and full medical history of each player. Lombardi has a history of lying and using the media to get his way. You could almost say he’s a master at it.

      • Wax Man Riley

        HAhahaa!! A truer statement has never been spoken.

        Like a credit card company is going to tell you … “Nope, using a credit card is not the best way to go”, or a used car salesman telling you “I know you have lots of money, but you’re better off riding a mountain bike”

  • Dyckster

    Say what you will about the Oilers’ medical staff, I’m astounded that there’s a presumption of competence when it comes to Tambellini. Exhibit A: Everything he’s done since being hired.

    Case closed.

  • derrickhands

    Wait, DSF and I Am The Liquor are enemies now? I thought you guys were all part of the HF breakaway faction, a part of which subsequently broke away from HFBroads. Like the Real IRA or something. There’s been ANOTHER splintering?

  • The treatment depends on the severity of the cysts on foot. If the cyst is not painful and does not impede the patient from walking and performing other regular foot activities,(such as hockey) the surgeon may simply ask the person to wear prescription shoes, or at least anti-pressure pads that can be used to line regular shoes.

    Aspiration would be the next to be performed. The fluid from the cyst is drained, and a steroid medication is injected into the lump to help reduce inflammation and thwart succeeding refilling.

    When other treatment alternatives fall short, surgery may be needed to remove the cyst.

    Surgery is almost always avoided first if your an average Joe. However if your a hockey player it’s just easier to get it done quick and easy, as the other methods take increased time. before anyone reminds me that Frasier is out 4 months, it also depends on the size severity and infection.

    LT was right though, When the Oilers last medical check was completed he could have been healing just fine. two moths later the LA medical staff find out that the cyst is now infected. this is not uncommon at all.

    This is not the fault of the Oilers and LA has no foot to stand on….heehee

  • Dyckster

    This saga is almost as bad and drawn out as Kovalchuk last summer…I know there isn’t much going on, but this is like banging my head against the wall.

  • Ned Braden

    I don’t see how this is a Tambi issue. He is not a doctor and does not diagnose the players. There are enough things to critize him about that he is responsible for but I don’t think this is one of them.

    The Brule issue was a legal issue regarding the CBA and rules of buying out players. Tambi was the one denying the trade and indicating that it was not done because he knew that the league was working on it. When it fell apart they moved on to alter the trade.

    We do not know the last time Fraser was examined by the Oilers doctors. I do not believe that they would act in bad faith and lie about his condition but more likely did not know because he had not started off season training yet and the cyst was not a concern on his last exam. He may have been scheduled to see the doctor prior to starting his training. The Oilers doctors could only provide information based on the last time they examined him.

  • It’s pretty clear that Tambo is an evil genius and this is just step one in his plan to eventually cripple every NHL team by trading away borderline NHLers making less than a million dollars, who he says are completely healthy, BUT WHO ARE NOT ACTUALLY COMPLETELY HEALTHY!!!!

    Steve you sick SOB! You’ve done it again!

  • Wax Man Riley

    In my opinion it doesn’t matter which the way it falls. Tambo may have problems with subsequent trades because of the controversy. None of the other GM’s care in all likelihood. It will only become an issue when those GM’s are dealing with Tambo. He is inept and there seems to be just a little too much messiness when he does deals.

  • Wax Man Riley

    Doctors mis diagnose all the time. For example, I have a knee injury and my doctor and surgeon said its just a torn minescous. Well after the first surgery, the surgeon has to do a freaken close to rebuilding the knee. The ACL, and interior, plus fix a graded femur, bucket handle tear, and cadaver a ligament and post screws in to correct the joint from falling over forwards. The funny part its not really a misdiagnosis yet, before I had an MRI done the doctor orig told me it was a sprained knee. Untill I insisted for them to have a further look. Wow, love that health care system.

  • Clyde Frog

    Ok Lombardi is just as culpable here.

    Also first off, Brule wasn’t damaged goods… He is physically fit for his season, they asked the NHL lawyers for a ruling on the state of his mental issues in relation to him being cleared to play and being bought out and it came back unfavourable.

    Lombardi asked for a player with a reasonable buyout to increase his cap gains from the trade and Tambellini offered his best available kid for that purpose.

    That trade is in no way poorly relfected on Tambellini and due diligince was done BEFORE putting ink on paper.

    Fraser was reworked into the deal, regardless of your take on his injuries and the doctors feelings, the SAME due diligence should have been practiced by the purchasing team.

    Why wasn’t it? We will never really know. If I had to make a guess, it was at that time Lombardi didn’t care the slightest about how Fraser performed and just wanted to ensure he had space for Doughty and to make a run at Richards or a few other pieces.

    When that all fell through and his return on 30 goals was 5ish and a late rounder, well it started to look like a very poor trade indeed.

    All I know is in the NFL/NBA/MLB it is very common for players to be examined BEFORE you finish the deal. Not taking the time to do that and then calling fowl is nothing short of a joke. He had every opportunity to do it and didn’t, the only way this is bad on Tambellini is if he put a time limit on acceptance that would have prevented the Kings from doing their due dillingence.

  • OutDoorRink

    C’mon folks, you know this is really all about Lombotomy getting the managerial equivalent of a massive wedgie from the Penner deal. He’s still trying to pick his undies out of his a$$ and he’s MAD!!!