Here is the second part of the Dean Lombardi interview…
Question: Going forward, what is the plan now? What will you try to get done for the rest of the summer, and is there still time to get some momentum going?
LOMBARDI: “Yeah. Obviously you put a lot of work into it, and you’d like it to work, but whether it’s this type of deal or something else, if it doesn’t come to fruition, you go back to the drawing board. You can’t hang your head or anything. We gave it our best shot, there’s no doubt about it. We are, in no way, off plan. I’ve said this before, that I had projected probably doing this type of free agent after next year. That was my gut. You know how I feel about the core developing in the room, and putting that in place before you start diving into some of these other things. In the second half of last year, they showed me that they were going to hang together and deal with the pressure. So I was willing, I guess, to accelerate by going to this avenue to improve the team a year earlier, for me, and I guess push our way through this a little quicker. So for me, it doesn’t come to fruition, but we certainly aren’t off from what we’ve set out to do. Somebody else will come up. It’s got to be the right deal.
“The other thing is, it’s not like we’re a team where our best players are 35 years old or something, where our window is going to close here, so let’s go and grab this guy at all costs. We’re not in that situation at all. So if I thought our window was going to close here, because Kopitar is 35 or whatever, or, `All of these guys are getting older, so let’s take a run at it,’ then I’d be disappointed. I’m not saying we’re not disappointed, but my point is that it’s on a different level. You just regroup, and we still know what we’re trying to accomplish. That’s the only time you would really rush to push the accelerator, if Kopi is 35 years old or something. That’s not the case here. They’re not even where they could be. They’re still learning to get in shape.”
Question: But the focus changes a little, right? We’re talking about a 40- or 50-goal scorer that you were after, and there aren’t many of those out there. How does the focus change?
LOMBARDI: “We’re going to look at it, as we go through the summer, where kids like Schenn and Hickey and Clifford are, and we’re still going to look at other things. But there’s a difference between a fill player and a top player. I don’t think there’s another top guy out there right now, so you’ve got to be careful about just running out there and getting a fill that we didn’t really want. So that’s what you’ve got to guard against at this point now. We’ll continue to work through it, but I don’t see anything on the horizon. But I’ve been around long enough to know that something always comes up.”
Question: Is there a chance you could star talking to Frolov’s agent?
LOMBARDI: “I don’t know. It’s something to look into.”