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Category: Colin Fraser

Kings GM Dean Lombardi says he's sorry for slamming Oilers

Either hell has frozen over or Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi was afraid for his safety during the team's upcoming trip to Edmonton, but he offered an apology Thursday for the incendiary comments he made after he acquired an injured Colin Fraser for Ryan Smyth in a trade with the Oilers.

Trying to grant Smyth's trade request, Lombardi initially agreed to take Gilbert Brule for Smyth but backed off because of concerns over Brule's fitness. He then agreed to take Fraser, who eventually needed foot surgery and didn't make his Kings debut until Nov. 10.

The Kings filed a grievance with the NHL contending that the Oilers had misrepresented the extent of Fraser's injury and Lombardi let his temper flare.

“The bottom line for me, I would have rather invested my money with Bernie Madoff than invest in Edmonton’s word,” Lombardi told The Times.

The grievance was settled before a hearing and the Oilers paid an unspecified amount of money toward Fraser’s medical costs. Oiler and NHL executives were unhappy with Lombardi’s outspokenness, and Lombardi told Edmonton Team 1260 radio host Mark Spector on Thursday that frustration over Smyth’s trade request led him to speak without thinking.

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Kings' Westgarth saddened by deaths of fellow enforcers

Westgarth_250 Emptying the digital recorder after Sunday’s Hockey Fest event held by the Kings at Staples Center....

The deaths of enforcers Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak since May have stunned the NHL and resonated especially deeply with Kings forward Kevin Westgarth.

Westgarth, who has three assists and 114 penalty minutes in 65 career NHL games, said he can “empathize with the various struggles and the roller coaster it can be” to be a tough guy and said he felt sorry for the families each player left behind.

“I’ve been extremely lucky. It’s just an incredible tragedy,” he said Sunday. “I’m in essentially the same role as those guys. It’s not hugely different.

“It kind of makes you look in the mirror. It’s awful. And it does hit a little closer to home and it’s just really confusing.”

Boogaard’s death was attributed to an accidental and toxic mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone. His family donated his brain to a Boston University study on the effects of repeated brain trauma.

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