A Russian Bargain…Or Lack Thereof

Alexander Frolov was drafted 20th overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings.  With hopes riding high on the young Russian, he broke into the NHL in the 2002-03 season scoring 31 points in 79 games.  His point totals continued to increase over the next few years notching 20+ goals in six straight seasons.  

After signing a 5 year deal beginning the 2005-06 season and despite putting up very good numbers, the Los Angeles Kings soon found out that Frolov did not fit the mold or the direction the Kings were going in.  At the same time, Frolov new that he was not a good fit for LA after his contract expired.

Fast forward to this season.  Frolov finds himself on a New York Rangers team desperate to make the playoffs after blowing their opportunity on the final day of the NHL season, last year.  With hopes of revitalizing the scoring situation in the Big Apple, Frolov is, once again, on the outside looking in.  

Brought in to provide a scoring threat as a first line winger, Frolov has a mere 11 points in 29 games.  Teammates Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky have stolen the show with 21 and 23 points, respectively.  Not to be outdone, Marian Gaborik has posted up 15 points in just 16 games.  Guys like Brian Boyle, Dan Girardi, and rookie sensation, Derek Stepan, are all outscoring Frolov.

GM Glen Sather has found out, yet again, that throwing out money for a sexy name on the free agent list may not return dividends.  Frolov has shown some highlight reel goals as well as some of the softest hands in the game.  The issue is not whether Frolov has the skills to become a top point-getter, it is more along the lines of not being able to gel with his teammates to form a consistent scoring presence.  

Three million dollars is a good chunk of change to pay a player who is on pace to tie his rookie point mark of 31. Russia is just a hop, skip, and a jump away, and this time next year, a nice comfy contract in the KHL could be staring Alexander in the face.  I’d be a bit nervous if I were in Frolov’s shoes at the moment, considering his lack of production for his price tag.  

With his stock going WAY down, Alexander Frolov needs to find a way to put the puck in the net before he finds himself desperately seeking an NHL team.  I guess they don’t call it “the city that never sleeps” for no reason.

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