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Kings’ Jack Johnson irate over GM Lombardi’s comments about him and Michigan

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Kings defenseman Jack Johnson reacted angrily Thursday to comments made by General Manager Dean Lombardi in an interview posted on the blog frozenroyalty.net in which Lombardi said Michigan -- where Johnson played college hockey -- is ‘the worst’ in terms of coaching players and called Johnson ‘awful as a hockey player’ when he played for the Wolverines.

He also criticized Michigan Coach Red Berenson and said Johnson was unable to accept criticism after playing at Michigan and for the U.S. national team development program.

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The interview, part of a series, can be found here.

‘I’m a Michigan man. I’m very proud of it. I wouldn’t want to have it any other way,’ Johnson said after the Kings’ 4-3 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center.

‘Michigan has produced more NHL players than any other school. Even the U.S. development program, people rip that and they just don’t know anything about it and don’t know what they’re talking about.’

Berenson, Johnson said, ‘is one of the finest coaches and men that I’ve met. For my general manager to rip me as a person and criticize me as a person and as a player and call me an awful hockey player is irresponsible and unprofessional.’

A spokesman for the Kings said Lombardi’s quotes in the interview were accurate.

-- Helene Elliott


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