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.