The New York Rangers were never serious contenders to sign any of the most coveted free agents this summer. The albatross contracts of Chris Drury and Wade Redden have weighed heavily on the Rangers ability to compete in the free agent market.
Rangers GM Glenn Sather must work under tight salary cap constraints due to his past failed acquisitions. Re-signing Václav Prospal for a bargain $1.0 million as the forward had a productive season scoring 58 points. Despite the return of Prospal, New York needs another proven scorer to take some of the goal-scoring burden off of Marián Gáborík.
Simon Gagné would have been an ideal addition but the Rangers were beaten out by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Still, some attractive options remain for the Blueshirts namely Alexander Frolov.
The Rangers would wise to attempt to sign Frolov as he is a talented scorer who has shown that he can grab 30 goals in a good season. Frolov had become a bit of an enigma in his final years with the Kings but his potential remains a sought-after asset.
Gáborík carried the same under-achiever tag but rose to the challenge of playing under the bright lights of New York and reproduced his best play as a Ranger. It would be an intelligent gamble for the Sather to try give Frolov a similar chance.
It will be difficult for Sather to be able to shed the unwanted contracts of Donald Brashear and Wade Redden but Michal Rozsíval could be more easily moved. The Blueshirts are in desperate need for added cap flexibility to sign a goal-getter in free agency and more importantly sign defenseman Marc Staal to a new deal.
The Rangers aren't only team interested in Frolov so Sather might have to settle for another free agent scorer like Maxim Afinogenov, Slava Kozlov, or the veteran presence of Paul Kariya. Lee Stempniak who flourished after being traded to Phoenix scoring 14 goals in 18 games could be an interesting gamble.