An interesting development coming out of New York as Alex Frolov has publicly voiced his displeasure with his role and ice time with the Rangers. Frolov was quoted telling Russia’s Sport-Express that John Tortorella’s use of him is “absolutely unacceptable”.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable to me that that I spend 7-8 minutes a game on the ice, especially on an energy line. It’s just not my game, which I told the coach candidly.”
Despite Frolov’s stern rejection of his coach’s allotment of ice time, he was quick to say there is no beef between he and Tortorella:
“But there are no personal problems between me and him. I’m not a quarrelsome person. Even in our recent conversation there was no swearing or raised voices. Nobody blamed anyone, we simply discussed the situation. The coach promised that soon everything will change, I just need to be a little patient and work harder in practice.”
When asked about any difficulties he had adjusting to Tortorella’s system, Frolov stated that he had some troubles in the first few games – but that there were fundamental differences from the system he was used to in Los Angeles:
“Torts gives wingers completely different tasks, making them work more on defense. In comparison with the tactics of Los Angeles, where I spent the previous seven seasons, it was very unusual. However I’ve already adapted now to the new system [and] begun to understand the head coach’s requirements. And he seems satisfied with my performance on the ice. Or so he says at least.”
Frolov is an interesting case because he’s on a one-year deal that pays him $3 million. The Rangers have been surprising this season, despite the lack of production from the guy they hoped would click with Marian Gaborik. If the Rangers are seriously pursuing Brad Richards, then Frolov’s cap hit would be an ideal salary to move in order to clear space. Of course, there’s the issue of his less than inspired play. Frolov has 5 goals and 11 points in 29 games this season.
In a perfect world for both sides, Frolov would pick up his play and contribute on the offensive end – thus making him a viable option on one of the top two lines, or he’d be attractive enough for another club to inquire on his availability.
Anyway, we’ll see how the club responds to Frolov’s comments. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him get sat down for a game or two – or to the contrary, see the quotes labeled as “taken out of context”.