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Kings GM Dean Lombardi hints at possible legal action against Edmonton Oilers

Lombardi, displeased about the physical status of two players the Oilers have tried to send the Kings in separate trades, says he'd 'have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton's word.'

July 08, 2011|By Helene Elliott
  • Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi.
Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi. (Andrew D. Bernstein / NHLI…)

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi, contending the Edmonton Oilers had twice misrepresented the health of a traded player, said Friday the Kings will "look at our legal avenues" for 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 agreed to take forward Gilbert Brule in exchange for Ryan Smyth but balked after the Kings determined Brule hadn't been procedurally cleared following a concussion. Lombardi didn't want to void the trade — Smyth asked to return to Edmonton and his departure gives the Kings sizeable salary cap relief — and instead accepted center Colin Fraser and a seventh-round pick in the 2012 entry draft without checking with legal counsel.

Lombardi said the Oilers told him Fraser was days from being cleared after recovering from a fractured foot. However, Lombardi said the Kings' doctors found Fraser has a cyst in his foot and a blood disorder and will need surgery and four months' recovery. An injured player can't be traded or bought out. "On the heels of Brule, holy smoke," Lombardi said.

He also said Tim Leiweke, chief executive of the Kings' parent company, AEG, suggested the Oilers take Fraser back until he's fit, but the Oilers haven't responded. An Oilers spokesman said the club had chosen not to comment.

Slap shots

Defenseman Alec Martinez agreed to a two-year deal worth $737,500 per year, avoiding a scheduled salary arbitration hearing.

Martinez, a native of Rochester Hills, Mich., began the season in the minor leagues but was recalled Nov. 23 and remained with the Kings the rest of the season. He had five goals, 16 points and a plus-11 defensive rating in 60 games as a rookie.

Forward Brad Richardson's arbitration hearing was set for July 21 in Toronto. A hearing for Ducks winger Dan Sexton was set for Aug. 4, also in Toronto.

helene.elliott@latimes.com

twitter.com/helenenothelen

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