Kings' Dean Lombardi frustrated by NHL's stance on salary-cap issue

Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi isn't happy with the NHL's response to the team's salary-cap issue

Dean Lombardi is annoyed.

In fact, the Kings' General Manager has been mostly angered, feeling that the team is being punished by not getting salary-cap relief. Kings defenseman Slava Voynov remains suspended indefinitely by the NHL but is still getting paid and his $4.1-million salary still counts against the cap.

The Kings were a player short last month in Philadelphia, and more recently were short one defenseman because of injuries and the salary-cap limbo.

In three days, it will be a month since Voynov was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. No charges have been filed. A development in the case could come Tuesday. Or next week.

Lombardi used the word "dysfunctional" to describe the system in an interview last week with Times columnist Helene Elliott.

Then NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman offered his views on the salary-cap issue, speaking to reporters in Toronto on Monday, echoing some of the comments he has made on conference calls with Lombardi during talks to try to find a solution.

"Every team has to manage its salary cap, right?" Bettman said in a SportsNet news story. "It's just the way it works."

Lombardi responded with a "return volley" Monday afternoon, via email to The Times.

"[Bettman] says issue of cap relief not warranted and is just cap management," Lombardi said. "I need to create some space in case [a player] robs a bank."

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