The recent signing of Alexander Frolov has left the Rangers faithful divided. Many see the name, and declining stats the past two seasons, and instantly scream Nikolai Zherdev. Others see the 27 year old UFA as much needed secondary scoring to compliment Marian Gaborik, and a very shrewd signing by General Manager Glen Sather. Regardless of your personal opinions of Frolov, the fact is that he will be on the team next season.
So what can anyone really expect from the winger? When looking at his raw numbers, Frolov only failed to score 20 goals twice, with once being his rookie year. He also routinely puts up 50 points per season, which is something the Rangers are fairly hard pressed to find on their current roster. His point totals, and goal totals, slipped recently due to a drop in powerplay time. On the Rangers, Frolov will not run into that powerplay issue, as he will more than likely be placed on a powerplay unit with Marian Gaborik. The combination of Frolov and Gaborik gives the Rangers a potent 1-2 punch on the powerplay, and will force each penalty killing unit to spread themselves out. This creates more opportunities for both Gaborik and Frolov, and hopefully leads to more pwoerplay efficiency from the Rangers.
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As per everyone on Twitter, the Rangers have officially signed UFA Alex Frolov to a one year, $3 million deal. Frolov chose this deal over a four year, $20 million deal to play in the KHL. The 28 year old LW adds legitimate scoring from the left side, something the Rangers didn’t have prior. It also gives the Rangers much more depth in the top-six forwards, and provides some help for Marian Gaborik.
This is a very solid deal for the Rangers. No long term commitment was needed, the contract itself is cheap, and it adds some secondary scoring and flexibility in the roster. If coach John Tortorella decides to keep the Vinny Prospal-Brandon Dubinsky-Marian Gaborik line in tact, then Frolov slides to the second line with either Erik Christensen or Artem Anisimov, and most likely Ryan Callahan. With Frolov on the roster, Sean Avery slides to his best role, as a third line winger.
Some will say that the move “blocks the youth”. To that, I say bull. It’s a one year deal, and it’s not like any of the top-six prospects are ready. The likes of Derek Stepan and Evgeny Grachev will need a full season in Hartford. If they impress, then it’s a situation any fan would want to see the Rangers in. A situation with too many skilled players is better than a situation without enough.
Update: With Frolov signed, the Rangers have $1.4 million remaining under the $59.4 salary cap. They also have about $6.8 million remaining on the summer cap. There is more than enough room to sign Marc Staal this summer. However, to fit the team under the cap, some salary needs to go.
The Depth Chart has been updated.
As per Laurie Carr, who does a great job breaking news via Russian sources, the Rangers will sign Alex Frolov to a one year deal. Frolov, who had a lucrative four year deal on the table from the KHL, has chosen the Rangers in lieu of bolting to Russia.
Update by Dave: Arthur Staple has tweeted that the Rangers have offered Frolov a two year deal. The deal is for a less AAV than the four-year offer from the KHL.
Let me start by admitting im unashamedly a Frolov fan. Always liked him in LA and always liked the idea of him in New York. However, im also willing to admit the guy has issues and people question his mental ‘make-up’ a lot. Specifically there are his consistency issues; Alex Frolov is consistently inconsistent. For proof check out his last five season’s goal totals: 19 (09-10), 32, 23, 35, 21. It’s a very up and down resume. So what should fans expect out of Frolov this year, 30 plus goals again? Who knows? Alexander Frolov to the Rangers throws up a few questions…
Firstly the obvious; can the Rangers afford him? Well that’s easy to answer – with a move here or there, yes they can. How much does he want? That we won’t find out until he signs somewhere. The rumours seem to sway between a return to LA, to New York or the KHL. SKA and KHL president Medvedev has gone on record stating he is a target for his club although Frolov appears to be cooling on that option.
Does he fit in New York next season? For all his ‘issues’ yes he does. He’s proved he can score at a higher level than New York’s other Russian head case Nik Zherdev and would be a good fit on a line with Gaborik or alternatively on a secondary line with Anisimov. Frolov on the Rangers next year makes the club, in the short term, much better. Everyone acknowledges the Rangers need more scoring – secondary scoring – and if Frolov ‘only’ has another one of his sub par year’s, 19 goals and 50 points helps this team a lot. He immediately becomes the 3rd best scorer on this team and helps the Power Play. In four of the last five years Frolov had double figure PP goal totals and lord does this PP need some more help. With Frolov this team is well in the mix for the 6-8 playoff spots. Whether that’s a good thing long term is a debate for another day. Adding Frolov does not make this team a contender. Not without a lot of variables anyway.
So where is my issue on Frolov? It really depends on what he wants. I’m not so concerned with dollar (although it’s obviously important) as I am with the term. The Rangers have a hell of a talent in Chris Kreider coming through the system (apparently NHL ready according to Sather), Tortorella appears to be sticking with Brandon Dubinsky on the wing and we don’t want the talented prospects’ route to New York to be blocked. I wouldnt say no to Frolov based on our current crop of wings. The Rangers don’t have enough top 6 talent comapred to bottom 6. Anyone can see that.
If Frolov would be willing to sign for no more than 2 years and $8m I’d jump all over him. If he’s a success then you re-sign him to complement Kreider and the kids as Prospal will be long gone by then. It’s when his demands of longer contracts get out of hand I would walk away. 2 years is relatively low risk and certainly a moveable contract given his career to date. I like the fact the Rangers are being linked to him as Laurie Carr points out. Sather should be doing due diligence on this exceptionally talented young man and I’d have no problem taking him for the right price.
The Ottawa Senators have fired head coach Craig Hartsburgh. With that top line, they shouldn’t be this bad. It’s safe to say that everyone, including Hartsburg, disappointed this year.
Could this be the same fate awaiting Tom Renney should the Rangers disappoint in the playoffs?
Update 12:00pm: Further on the post below, in regards to packaging AA for the right deal, the Kings have made it known that Alexander Frolov is available. While I believe he is available as part of a package to get a star, the Rangers should kick the tires on Frolov, he’s young, good (top 3 potential, currently top 6), and cheap for now ($2.9 million cap hit). That is the kind of player I would package AA for. Again, I don’t think he’s available as that kind of trade though, he’s available more as a packaging player for a player like Kovalchuk.