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.