It's official. Alexander Frolov is a Ranger. Following yesterday's post on the talented but enigmatic Russian, rumors circulated that he was closing in on signing with our club. The only hold up was that the now former King wanted two years. Fortunately, Glen Sather was able to get it done for one with it expected to be $3 million. Updating this, reliable Rycckuu Puck Daddy source Dmitry Chesnokov just tweeted that he should get a little more than that. Eh.
About what was expected. While it would've been nice to get Frolov for our $2.5 M, he did earn an average of $2.9 million on his last contract. So, even coming off a down season in which he fell out of favor with Terry Murray who used the 28 year-old from Moscow more on the third line and even healthy scratched him, it was probably going to cost a bit more. Especially to get him for one year.
Twitter universe wasn't feeling this move last night with colleague Scotty Hockey leading the charge- saying it's more of the same from an organization that only wants to get an eight seed and wallow in mediocrity. It's hard to disagree. He's dead on about the team being miles away from competing for a Cup. So, why not let a prospect compete in camp for the spot? Most likely because this is still a team that plays in the Big Apple and is owned by a nimrod who would rather see them at least make the playoffs so MSG can get valuable extra revenue out of a frustrated fanbase loyal to a fault.
It's like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, we want to see the team succeed and root for the logo which is why fans cough up good dough to go to games. On the other, it's clear that as long as Dolan owns this franchise, Sather will have free reign and the club will suffer because of it. Imagine if there was accountability. If they really cared about fielding a winning product, our senile GM would've been gone eons ago probably during the lockout. Instead, True Blue fans are stuck. Do we root against our own team in hopes that they finish bad enough to finally end this
It would be one thing if they had a top playmaking pivot who could get the puck to Marian Gaborik and Frolov if he plays top line. Though personally, I wouldn't throw all my eggs in one basket. This team has lacked balanced scoring. Unless that changes, it will be another frustrating year full of teases.
Can Frolov help? Sure. As we already noted, he's got high skill capable of finishing and setting up goals. Unlike Scotty Hockey, we'll say that Frolov is far from one-dimensional as he can kill penalties if needed. He also is better on the cycle than Nikolai Zherdev, able to use his 6-2, 204 frame to ward off defenders. There are two big questions that Frolov must answer:
1.After reportedly turning down approximately $20 million over four years from the KHL, opting for one more year in the NHL before deciding his future, how motivated will he be?
2.Coming in with consistency issues, can he silence the critics?
If he fails at either, it won't be long before he's in John Tortorella's doghouse. If the club struggles or he underperforms, they can always move him at the deadline. Still, at at least three million with no wiggle room, what does this mean for Marc Staal? Shouldn't our best defenseman have been top priority?!?!?!?!?! More of the same old, same old from a washed up executive who treats free agents better than his own players. Bye bye Redden? For the love of God and all of sanity, please see to it that Tinman isn't oiled up.
Derek Felix of Battle Of New York