In three years of blogging, this might be my favorite post, and if you’ve been reading the blog(s) for a while, you probably know why. I asked Dean Lombardi about Alexander Frolov, and how close he had come, if at all, to pulling the trigger on a trade.
LOMBARDI: “Never an issue. We can put this thing to bed. I have never had a deal for Frolov, or even close to a deal for Frolov. You can put that in writing, finally, with the trade deadline done. I have never had anything close for trading Fro. I think those rumors about him started when, yeah, we gave him a little boot there when we called him out after the Columbus game (in October). It’s just amazing how stuff comes out, that it’s a fire sale on this guy and he’s going to be gone. For all the guys you talk about, leading up to the deadline, there was nothing even close for Fro. Not even close. It’s just ridiculous.
“We all know what the issues are with Fro, and (reporters) call and say, `Are you looking to get rid of this guy?’ No. But it’s no different than anybody. If Gretzky can be traded, anybody can be traded. But to think that I’m just trying to get rid of this guy, there’s no chance. This is still a good player. To think that we were out there trying to shop this guy, it’s ridiculous. That’s a classic example to me. Not one of those rumors was even close. Sometimes rumors out there at least make sense, or there was at least talk about it. This was all ridiculous.
“The worst thing was, I felt terrible. I called him up to the office to bust him a little bit about the Russian Olympic team, in a good-natured way. The poor kid thought he was getting traded. I completely forgot about it. Before the trade deadline, the last thing a player wants to hear is, `The GM wants to see you.’ I forgot about that part. I’m looking at him, thinking, `Why is he so sheepish?’ Then I started (teasing him) and he didn’t know what to make of it. He’s thinking he’s being traded, and I just called him up to give him crap about the Russians.”