Rich Hammond interviewed Kings GM Dean Lombardi today. Patrick O'Sullivan's contract was the main topic. Talks are not going well and O'Sullivan will not be attending training camp until he is inked. When asked about who's decision it was for O'Sullivan not to attend Lombardi responded "Ours. I'm not going to pin that on the kid. I've had it both ways (with unsigned players). I think (Brad) Stuart did come in and I think (Patrick) Marleau didn't. My experience is that we're better off getting it done and not letting it drag on and be an issue in camp. It becomes...not a distraction, but a peripheral issue with the players. We need to make sure that everybody in there is on board. That's not to say he doesn't want to be on board, but until you're signed, you're not on the ship."
"I certainly communicated this to the agent today. We're still talking, and that's the good thing. This hasn't stopped us from talking. That's the good thing. Putting the (contract) numbers aside, it's good to have a face-to-face meeting with me and the player, to let him know that even though we might differ on the numbers, it's not that he's not wanted. That can happen, particularly with young players, where they think, `Oh, they don't want me,' and that's certainly not the case. Unfortunately, Sully is out of town right now, but I'm going to have to work something out so that we can talk here soon.''
When asked how close the two sides are he stated "We're not very close. That's the truth. When I saw where his (contract) number was two months ago, I said, `Oh boy.' With Jarret Stoll, at least we were in the band. When I say `in the band'...you look at comps and you look at cap figures, and there's a band that you're willing to work within. At first with Stolly, it wasn't where we wanted it but you could see the potential of a deal. On this one, when it started two months ago, I went, `Oh boy.' The good thing is, usually when you're outside the band, you're not even talking. At least we're talking.''
Lombardi was then asked if he is getting worried. He responded "A little honesty."
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