Kings interview with GM Dean Lombardi
Question: You probably know what’s coming here. Now you’re without one of your top guns for probably three months. Does that put you in a different mindset, in terms of trades?
LOMBARDI: “Yeah. I can’t comment on names, but as a practical matter, you might look at players you wouldn’t have looked at in the past. When you’re looking, there are obviously certain things you’re trying to do for your team, now and looking toward where we want to go. Then, when your team gets banged up a little, you might look for something and say, `OK, let’s see if we can fill that.’ That’s not an easy thing to fill. (Williams) is a good player. It’s not like you’re looking to replace a third- or fourth-line guy. Quite frankly, the reality right now is, it’s the same problem you run into every year, right until the end almost. Every team is still in it, and nobody has really got a lot of depth to start throwing guys around, particularly guys of Willy’s stature.”
Question: Does it change your view on the so-called rental players?
LOMBARDI: “The first thing I do is see where we are as a team, obviously. Any time you’re looking at something, you have to be sure in what you have. I think we’ve got a pretty good handle on it, when we make our projections in the offseason. Everything is pretty much right on schedule. Then you’ve got to be able to make some adjustments, whether things don’t turn out the way you thought or you have an injury. But you don’t want to get off the big plan. So when you have an injury, you kind of look at it and say, `All right, let’s see if we can get through this without getting off the big plan.’
“So yeah, you’ll probably look at things you wouldn’t have looked at before, but again, it doesn’t take you away from your big picture. The only difference is, what you’re looking at might still be big-picture, but you’re looking at getting some help right now. I’ve talked to 25 teams and got all my reports, and other than a few teams… I mean, a team wins five in a row and bang, they’re right back in it. There are a lot of buildings that aren’t exactly filled, and the last thing they want to do is throw up the white flag, even if they would like to.”
Question: Are you still talking to Frolov’s agent about a contract?
LOMBARDI: “We’ve got another meeting scheduled this month.”
Question: If, over the next few weeks, it seems unlikely that anything will happen there, does that influence what you do with him?
LOMBARDI: “No. This is the other thing too, another sign that you’re getting better. Certainly, in the first three years, it was very clear. It was all about getting draft picks. That’s the crappy part about building. You’re essentially making your team worse, immediately, and all you’re doing is getting picks. I don’t see us doing anything like that with a player of his caliber, to say, `OK, we’re going to lose him, so let’s get a second-round pick, or a first-rounder.’ I don’t see us taking good players out of our lineup at this stage.
“Two years ago, maybe even last year, you might say, yeah, like with Brad Stuart. Again, it’s those subtle signs that you’re moving along. That’s not even a consideration. So in terms of a trade, you can’t ever say that somebody is untouchable. If you’re asking me, if we can’t get a deal done, if we would trade him for a first-round or a second-rounder, no. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t make a hockey deal, but I don’t see us making our team worse, which is essentially would I did at every deadline up to this point. The reality was, when you’re trading all those guys, you’re making your team worse but you’re making your reserve list stronger. Now, with a guy like Fro, I don’t see that. A hockey deal? Maybe.”
With a wealth of disappointment stacking high. On a foundation built on who's to blame. It's leveled when you find the victims. And the perpetrators are one in the same. And I'm standing on the edge of oblivion, Standing on the edge of oblivion. And I'll put my best foot forward, Put my best foot forward. - The Briggs