Here’s what LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi REALLY thinks about having a player go on trial for domestic violence
“The tough part for us is delaying the trial until July 6. So we’re right back to where we were at the trade deadline. That’s the frustrating part, that you can’t plan. You want to know one way or another, and I get it during the year but free agency is July 1. How good is that? It’s like, could we get it (before) so we know if we can do some things here? The way this whole thing has done this year, it’s emblematic of so many things that have happened this year. It’s a shame, because this guy is clearly one of our best defensemen, (playing) 22 or 23 minutes in the playoffs. We signed him long-term to a reasonable contract. He fits like a glove, with a right shot behind Doughty. But in terms of the other part there, it doesn’t make any sense to talk about the league until this other process goes on.” (From here: Lombardi talks about possible Kings re-signings, buyout, Voynov- Kings Blog: Orange County Register.)
To be clear: LA Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi is frustrated that the trial of “one of [his] best defensemen” - for FELONY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, a case where the prosecution has decided it has enough evidence to move forward even without the victim bringing charges - has been further delayed, thus continuing to fuck up Lombardi’s contracts, roster and salary cap.
Lombardi also offered an update on an injury to his Achilles tendon that Voynov suffered while suspended: “It’s a major injury. They’re shooting for the middle of training camp. If everything was normal, they’d be shooting for the middle of September.”
“It’s a shame,” Lombardi said, by which he seems to mean it’s a shame that “this whole thing” - this whole thing where Voynov is accused of beating his wife (tw: descriptions of very violent behavior) - has complicated his plans for how the team will be better next year.
Shame on you, Dean Lombardi, for complaining about the timeline of justice interfering in your apparently limitless greed for accolades.
Shame on you for thinking so little of your fans (and surely some of your paid staff and maybe even players) that you assume our biggest concern about Voynov is how quickly he can be found not guilty and how long after that it will take for his injury to heal.
Shame on you for having squandered six months during which you and your team could have become the league’s leaders in talking openly about domestic violence.
Shame on you for lawyering and bullying your way out of talking about what it really means to have one of your “best defensemen” stand accused of such horrific violence and what that means about your vaulted team dynamic and shame on you for using the excuse of an “ongoing investigation” and presumption of “innocence.”
Shame on you.
And shame on me for thinking for a second you would do anything different.
ETA: Addendum here, because this is not actually about one team or one GM or even one league. Let’s be bigger than that.