I trawled through the good ol' Sactown Royalty archives this morning for a refresher on Geoff Petrie's comments about rebuilding, the timeline and all that. And I came across an Ailene Voisin column from last fall that I'd almost completely forgotten about. The Maloofs picked up an option on Petrie's contract last summer to keep Geoff in Sacramento through the 2009-10 season. That would make next season Petrie's last under his current contract.
Voisin talked to a rather candid Petrie for her column.
[K]now this about Petrie: He understands the calendar. He is one of those people who won't have to be shown the door when it's time to leave. If he fails in his rebuilding attempt, is unable to accomplish a third renovation in his 15-year Kings tenure, expect him to approach the Maloofs, thank them for their support, and tell them they need a change. [...]
According to sources within the organization, Petrie, whose option for 2009-10 was picked up last summer, tabled the Maloofs' offer for a multiyear contract extension.
"Honestly, I'm concerned about my job today, tomorrow and the next day," Petrie said recently when asked about his job status. "At some point in the future, we can sit down and talk about it. But I believe that will sort itself out. In the big picture, I want what's best for the franchise."
Later in the column:
"We need to be somewhat patient and see what develops with what we've done," added Petrie, "and try and keep our (cap) flexibility unless something really exciting comes along. Two years sounds like a long time, and sports is measured in dog years.
"We're trying to do this without falling into oblivion. That can be hard to get out of, too. It has taken Portland five years out of the playoffs to get where they are now. Let's just see."
We trust Petrie's judgment. Overwhelmingly. If he thinks it's time to go -- to retire, to go somewhere else with a clean slate -- then I trust it's time for him to go. It needs to be recognized that his first objective of these last two years on his current contract -- to rebuild without falling into oblivion -- has been a failure. Even if Kevin Martin hadn't been injured, it's difficult to imagine that the team would have finished outside the league's bottom three. That is oblivion, plain and simple. He can't be pleased with his work, particularly the Beno Udrih signing.
The Maloofs have repeatedly insisted it's Petrie's job as long as he wants it. (They do so all over this particular column, as well.) But if we don't have an extension for Petrie this summer, be prepared to watch him walk away hat in hand next summer, barring a monumental turnaround this season.
In that case, don't forget how much Jason Levien gave up to be Petrie's protegé.