Labarbara Dumped


I wonder why players end up hating LA?
Could it be because LA fans love to take a turn kicking them once we’ve torn them down?
I think this was a disrespectful move by Lombardi to Labarbara.
He should have sent him to Manchester and allowed him to at least get claimed, cuz he would have, and who really needs a 7th round pick?
I’m sorry, but Dean you should be ashamed of yourself.

It seems an insult to trade your No. 1 of a month ago for a 7th round pick.

What does that say about you, and your coach who was calling Labarbara the No. 1 less than three weeks ago, while failing to recognize the talent he now acknowledges in Quick.

It seems like it’s only others who are held accountable for their mistakes, and punished.

Why does Murray get a pass on this?

Labarbara was never, ever, ever short on effort. 
Goaltender is the one position where your lack of skill cannot be masked.
Labs was a victim of our inability to score goals and I think he deserves a modicum of respect.
How can all you people shit on your own, time-after-time, just because they leave LA — often less-marketable than when they came.
This franchise owes it to the players who come here to perform as professionals to be treated better than this.
Publicly state why you’re moving Labarbara.
It’s really because you want to move forward with your prospects.
It doesn’t mean Jason Labarbara can’t stop the puck.
I would imagine that — true to form — a former King will haunt this team for at least one night.
Here’s to hoping Jason Labarbara shuts-out Terry Murray’s scoring machine before his days are done.
After all, isn’t this the culmination of the demote-to-motivate model employed by Murray and Lombardi?
Some of those players will leave and find that spite motivates them to find out how good they can really play. 
I doubt he’ll make Lombardi look like a fool for trading him, but I would think he’ll get vengance of some sort, at least once, on who he is going to hold accountable for this embarrassment.

By the way, if this was all done at Labarbara’s request — I apologize in advance for jumping to conclusions.  

I would just say that there is a history of twisting the truth with this organization, and leave it at that….

Until more comes out.



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21 responses to “Labarbara Dumped

  1. cristobal

    I at least hope that this makes Boyle’s impending promotion permanent.
    I also wonder — if it is, will he get used?

  2. cristobal

    And, I have to add:

    Is going from Kings No.1 to seventh-round-pick sound like good player management?

  3. brian

    are you really as dense as you seem?

  4. Whatever

    Eat the Rich: What do you suggest DL should have done? There was no easy way out of this. Labs was awful this year, he’s not a #1 goalie on any team in this league. He deserved a shot, he got a shot and he failed. The Kings are better off without him, they are a better team with EE and Quick. You know that. Labs works hard, there is no doubt but that does not mean diddly-squat.

    You say to publicly state why your moving him…really? Does any team do that? Labs was not moved to make room for a young player. Labs was moved because he was not capable of playing a to level that exceeds the play of EE or Quick. He played himself into getting traded for a 7th round pick.

    How is that you feel the waiver wire is any better than a seventh round pick? You can guarantee we would get picked up…how? Perhaps DL wants Zatkoff in the AHL and did not want Labs clogging an already crowded system. Yes, it is nice when fans can respect hard work but the bottom line is hockey just like any business, it is results driven. Labs FAILED. It’s very easy for you to play armchair GM and say what should be done.

    According to your own writing on Rich’s blog I get the feeling like you think the Kings are moving in the right direction. For me this move only makes my favorite team better. That is DL’s job. Just like the rest of life sometimes things get messy and difficult decisions must be made. Boo-hoo Labs got hurt feelings.

    Do you really think this will deter a competent player from signing in LA? Get real.


    PS. I have read a couple of your post and you are a pretty decent writer.

  5. cristobal

    whatever – I think you misunderstand my problem with how this trade “looks” to me.
    I’ve also not explained myself so well.
    But it’s not trading Labs that I think stinks, it’s trading him for a 7th. Or, in other words, it’s the way Lombardi did it.
    I prefer to have Labs out of LA because my philosophy for this rebuild is — if we’re not good enough to make the playoffs, we should play our youth if they are physically prepared.
    I wasn’t so much suggesting DL publicly state why he’s trading him, but I would like to know that the GM who runs my team cares about these people as individuals as well.
    Basically: I think Labs took the fall for many of Lombardi’s short-comings and was a victim of being asked to do too much in a bad situation. I also think it would have shown Labs a modicum of respect to enquire whether he’d rather be sent to Manchester to help however he can, even if it means moving on to Ontario; or, to be traded for one of THE least valuable assets in the NHL — or close to the least valuable.
    I know I’d prefer to stick with an organization if they gave me the opportunity and if I didn’t think I could really be a No. 1 in the NHL. I don’t know what Labs thinks he’s capable of in this league.
    I do believe he can be a solid backup, and the very guy he’s going to replace immediately, Curtis Sanford, is a career backup.
    There’s no shame in being an NHL backup — Pokey Reddick, Boucher, Gerber(?), Kay Whitmore…. There’s a long list of backups that have very long careers.
    I’ve compared John Zeiler to “Rudy” before — which I don’t intend to be insulting.
    I think Labs could be compared to “Rudy” too, because he at least bought us some time for Bergie and Quick to figure out how to deal with the increasing demands they would face. Just today Hammond posted a thread “on: Quick” and said he was scolded because he wasn’t acting professionally after joining Manchester. Instead of thanking Labs for being a “bridge” player who was actually affordable, Kings fans (some) want to bash him, insult him, blame the losses on him; and I think that stinks.
    None of this means I don’t understand or support his movement out of LA, or pray that this is finally IT for Boyle. I want LomBurray to tell Boyle he’s here for good and that now is the time to stake his claim. If it doesn’t work out that Boyle is a worthwhile player for us, move him on as well.


  6. cristobal

    whatever — I edited and republished my post to try and clear up my initial thoughts.

    I also want it to be known I’m not trying to make a big deal about this issue. Writing is putting your feelings on paper. These are my feelings. I don’t expect people to agree with them because “I” feel they’re real. Unfortunately, sometimes people (me included) allow our arguments to devolve into name-calling and insults (which can be fun).
    I DO like to try and show people another way to look at things. Often, I guess, it’s considered a pessimistic view. But, I’ve never said I was perfect, just opinionated.


  7. markisonfire

    Wait, are you serious? You think LaBarbara would prefer to play in Ontario in the ECHL over the Vancouver Canucks?


  8. cristobal

    Well, if it means he’s got a job for the next 20 years with AEG, I think he’d maybe consider it.
    In Vancouver, he’s guaranteed to get paid the rest of this year, but he’s also going to be a free-agent that got traded for a bag-O-pucks. He might be out in the cold soon, proverbially.
    If our organization was top-notch, I think he would stay in it.
    Kyle McLaren, Darren McCarty, and Derian Hatcher all seem to accept playing within an organization that values them, even though it’s not always in the NHL.
    I think while Labs is under no threat from the poorhouse, an intelligent person considers long-term employment (especially in sports) worthy of being proud of.
    In the end, I think Labs will be fine, and I may be wrong that Lombardi shoved him out the door. Maybe Lombardi gave the options to Labs, and if so, I applaud it and apologize for jumping to conclusions.

  9. cristobal


    are you really as dense as you seem?

    Well, Brian, I would have to say the answer is still cloudy on this one, but there does seem to be evidence to support your assertion. Primary in this evidence is the fact that I’m responding to you.


  10. SAS

    I’m new here, so I’ll confine myself to two observations:

    First, if any of you have attended Kings games when he was in goal, you would realize how much of a non-brainer this “trade” was. Problem was that he is a pure reflex goaltender in a conference in which the ability to understand the play coming toward you and to know where the shot will be coming from is essential.

    Second, there is an important factor which I haven’t seen anyone mention yet — if he is sent down and taken on waivers, I believe that the Kings would remain responsible for half his salary, while if he is traded the other team would pick up all of it (depending at least on the terms of the trade, but I believe that this is what Vancouver did).

    Finally, some of us here in LA are taking the position that this trade is payback for Vancouver sending us Cloutier…


  11. Second, there is an important factor which I haven’t seen anyone mention yet — if he is sent down and taken on waivers, I believe that the Kings would remain responsible for half his salary, while if he is traded the other team would pick up all of it (depending at least on the terms of the trade, but I believe that this is what Vancouver did).

    Not true. If he is sent down and claimed, the claiming team takes the whole salary, like with Phoenix and Ilya Bryzgalov last year. If he clears waivers and goes to the minors, then gets called up again, he goes through re-entry waivers, and that’s where that split-salary happens.

    Even so, Labarbera doesn’t make that much. Half his salary wouldn’t even pay a minimum-wage player.

    Your first observation is good, though. Whatever Labarbera’s trade value or his future performance, it’s possible the Kings are better off without him. Mostly I think it’s a “shrug” trade, though — there’s bigger things to criticize Lombardi for ;)

  12. Capt Jam

    While I disagree with you on a number of points, Cristobal, I think your original post is interesting in that it’s completely based on sentimentality and forsakes the fact that the NHL is a business first and foremost. It’s clinical calmness and decisiveness that’s required to manage a pro sports club, not sacrificing the development of the entire organization just because someone is a great guy and he tries hard to hold up his end – especially when he’s shown time and time again over his time here that it’s just well beyond his skill set. JL is simply not adequately suited enough to be the difference maker that a club at this level requires.

    I also disagree that this transaction was in any way disrespectful. Players are not children of their teams, irrevocably linked to a club or a city; they are commodities and that is a mutually understood aspect of the business. If anyone has been disrespected, it has been Kings fans, who have had to settle for second tier personnel in a first tier league, not only in regards to JL but in other positions on ice and in the front office in previous administrations. While I am elated that this move was made, I am disappointed that it took this long to cut the ties. It should have happened years ago.

  13. worldhockeydaily


    I don’t in any way think Labs out of LA is bad for the Kings right now.
    I think it was a bad move to oust him from the organization entirely, and that it’s insulting to take a 7th-rounder as compensation, though.
    This isn’t the worst move in Kings history, but it’s often the small things that add up to hurt you.
    I liken Labs to a Pawn in a chess match.
    Anyone who plays chess understands that Pawns are not expendable simply because they’re not as strong as the other pieces.
    In fact, managing the small pieces USUALLY determines who wins the game.

  14. worldhockeydaily

    Captain Jam,

    I think it’s sad that Americans believe sports is ALL business nowadays.
    It wasn’t SO long ago that the business aspects came second, or third or fourth.
    I’d like to quote John Huston, just because I like to:

    “What you need to do is get yourself down to Mexico and fuck some whores, then you’ll know how to tell a story.”

    “I prefer to think that God is not dead, just drunk.”

    I prefer sports that are about passion, losing control of your emotions (not your actions), and down right sentimentality. I’d rather be a part of an incredibly, passionate loser, than a part of a mechanized winner with no soul. Some of my favorite teams in Sports history never won the Big game, but came close – the Rams, Vikings, Kings, Trailblazers, etc…
    Kings fans tell me that this is a business, but most of them want to “boo” Rob Blake when he returns and actually call him a snake, or a money-hungry bastard.
    Booing just makes you look pathetic.
    Do you know that in Spanish football, when Luis Figo left Barcelona for hated rival Real Madrid he was welcomed back during the game by having a severed pig’s head thrown at him?
    Now that is passion!
    And that is what I miss in American sports.
    We’ve been sold this free-agency b.s. and we’ve bought it.
    Here today, gone tomorrow…
    Where’s the sport in that?

  15. Canucklehead

    Hey, Guys.
    I can’t say that I have ever responded to such a web page, but this one I just had to. I’ve got to admit that I don’t know the context to Jason’s departure, but with the demise of Luongo and Sandford, LaBarbara has been a godsend for us. LaBarbara is now 6 out of 8 points with no regular-time losses and is playing lights out. He has been as good as Luongo IN THE SHORT TERM. His save percentage and GAG average are both very high. Maybe this play level won’t last, but the guy I feel the most sorry for is Sandford because, if BaBa’s focus and stopping power is any reflection of how he is going to continue onwards, Curtis is likely out of a job. While Jason is not going to oust Roberto anytime soon, believe it or not, the post-game callers are now starting to call Jason, “Labuongo”. Maybe that is just the flakeyness of living on the West Coast (you guys in LA, I am sure, can relate). In any event, we will see how this unfolds. One thing that we can say to the Kings, like Chevy Chase used to, “Hi! My name is Canuck…and you’re not.” And say “Hi” to The Crow and Clouts for us Canuck fans…we love them, particulary now that they aren’t here in Vancouver.

  16. cristobal


    Cheers to you. Take care of our boy Labs, I was upset that he was sent out for a 7th, for sure. I think that even if he’s not a No. 1 in this league that the guy has more value than that, and that any time you develop even a backup it’s better to keep them around. Not many in LA agree with me though. I admit, I may have jumped to conclusions on Lombardi’s intent when trading Jason, but I’ll always feel that the price was too low. I just hope that Lombardi made that trade, in a sense, for Labs’ benefit. He was like Public Enemy No. 1 here instead of being recognized as a guy who did a lot for us.
    Though, I think I’m overstating the feelings here when I say “everyone.” There were many who posted very nice farewells on our Inside the Kings blog (which has a link here) and many who said Labs was top notch when they met him. It always seemed at the end as though he lacked confidence, and for that I do blame some of the LA fans. I don’t think you should ever “boo” your own, but that’s what the guy faced when our struggles weren’t his fault.
    Anyway, I’m glad you posted and I’m happy for you and Labs that he’s doing so well for you. I think that if they resign him he’ll back up Luongo for years. He’s definitely good enough, as you’re seeing. Take good care of him and you’ll also have one person in LA pulling for Labs when he comes back to town. And, try coming back and telling us about things in Vancouver every now and then.


  17. Canucklehead

    No problem giving in you some of our wet, more northerly, left-coast thoughts. LaBarbera may just be a flash in the pan, or maybe he’s finally found his comfort zone and is the real thing, but until Luongo comes back he’s “the man”. Because he is a greater-Vancouver British Columbia boy (Burnaby) and seems personable, the media and the fans have taken an instant liking to him. And I am guessing that when the three-goalie room gets too crowded, and if management here pulls the trigger on him in lieu of Sanford (which they will eventually have to do with one of the two backups, as the trio system doesn’t work with goalies), he’ll command more than a bag of pucks this time around given his recent performance. (The only unfortunate thing about this current scenario is that Vancouver now has three goalies that are all well liked by the public, and one of them will eventually have to go). Who knows, however, what will happen; we shall see how this one unfolds.

  18. worldhockeydaily


    I don’t know how deep your goaltending system is, but if your minor league affiliates aren’t already stocked, you’d do well to at least keep Sanford or Labs to play backup down there behind your young prospects.
    I’m pretty sure Sanford is getting up there in age so I’d expect that Labs will be your backup going forward. Really, Labs was good in the games, but struggled in the shootouts (which I don’t like). He was often criticized for giving up soft goals by LA fans, but LA fans don’t really get it all the time. They just want a scapegoat and they want wins. But, if Sanford is effective, maybe you can parlay Labs into something significant at a later time. I think Edmonton a couple years ago learned that a very good backup is a great asset to have (referring to Roloson’s injury in the finals and Conklins inferior play).
    Again, that’s why I’m critical of the return. 7th rounders rarely pan out, although Huet was a 7th round pick by Dave Taylor.
    Now, how about that Kyle Wellwood? Who saw that coming?
    And, are you glad to have Sundin for the duration? I wonder how that will go?

  19. Canucklehead

    Well, I’m glad that I waited a few days to answer. The world in Canuckland has gone down the toilet. Sandford cleared waivers. Luongo is back and started with a sputter. LaBaba started to tail off. Corey Schneider, the once great hope when Bobby Lou high-tails it out of here in a few years for a bigger contract, isn’t ready for the big time that everyone thought he would be. And the Sundin arrival seems to have destroyed the once-reasonable karma of the team. I think we have now lost 6 home games in a row. And the faithful are starting to jump off of the Lions Gate bridge in anticipation of missing the playoffs again this year. Oh woe is us!

  20. cristobal


    Well, you had Labs start a few games in a row there.
    He’s not an every night guy, though.
    I can’t help you with the Sundin thing.
    I really don’t know why Vancouver would do that. I don’t think you’ve got a realistic shot at a Cup unless you catch fire with what was working early in the season.
    But, you’ve got to give Luongo time to get back in shape, and you’ve got to expect Sundin to take a little time to get in shape and get familiar.
    At least Labs got you some points when he first came in, and he’ll be a decent backup for when Luongo isn’t ready, injured, or whatever.
    He’s not a No. 1, but either was Sanford.
    Even if Labs doesn’t win you another game this year, he cost pretty much nothing and has already gotten you about as many points since the trade as the Kings have earned.
    I think the Kings have taken 7 points of a possible 20 since the trade.
    Problem is, we’re getting good goaltending, but our team is looking AHL quality lately.
    Our coach, T. Rodney Murray, isn’t making much progress right now. I don’t think he’ll be around too long.
    Could be wrong, but when the only thing you can do is defend, there are problems. Even the defending is pretty bad lately.
    Hey, at least you have Cody Hodgson waiting in the wings, right?
    Maybe you’ll have Magnus Svensson-Peearvi next year to go with the twins.


  21. canucklehead

    …we are now toast…

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