On July 26, rumors were abuzz, signaling that the Rangers were close to signing Alexander Frolov. One day later, Glen Sather announced that the Rangers officially signed the enigmatic forward to a one-year deal worth $3 million.
To some fans, this move may have come as a surprise, or an upset considering the fact that the Rangers are in a “rebuilding” stage, and by signing Frolov, another spot is taken up for a hopeful Rangers prospect.
But to others, including myself, this was a terrific signing by Glen Sather, and a terrific signing for the team.
Frolov is a great playmaking forward, who can also throw in a good 25-30 goals a season. This signing was also good because of the contract length and payment. Signing Frolov to a one-year deal worth $3 million was a complete steal in my opinion. It's one year, so if he doesn’t work out well, the Rangers can let him walk next free agency.
Also, it’s not a big contract money-wise, considering the fact that Frolov was looking for over $5 million and Sather signed him for $3 million.
Many compare him to Nikolai Zherdev, who the Rangers acquired for one season in 2008-09. Zherdev was possibly the best Ranger that season (besides Nikolai Antropov whom the Rangers acquired at the trade deadline), but was forced to play in the KHL after the Rangers walked away from him.
Another comparison may be Ales Kotalik. Kotalik was a Ranger last season, and he quickly became a Broadway “Boo” Shirt. So let’s hope Frolov is more of a “Zheredev” than a “Kotalik.”
What will “Fro” bring to the Rangers?
As I said before, Frolov is a very good playmaking forward. If he gets a chance to play alongside Marian Gaborik, which he probably will, I’m sure we will see an increase in Gaborik’s scoring and an increase in Frolov’s scoring.
Frolov will also be a huge asset to the Rangers power play. Two seasons ago (2008-09) Frolov tallied 12 power-play goals out of a total of 32 goals on the season. For a team that had one of the worst power plays in the league last season (that would be the Rangers), Frolov will be a huge upgrade.
Frolov is speedy, streaky, and knows how to score goals. But, do not expect him to come in next season and be the next Marian Gaborik. In other words, do not expect him to reach 40-50 goals. He may reach 30-35 goals, but I think we will see him strive in the assist column if he is playing with Gaborik.
Gaby needed someone to play with last season. Now he has Frolov for this coming year.
Though Frolov had a rough outing last season (19 goals, 32 assists, and 51 points), I expect him to be at his top form heading into this coming season. What some fans do not realize is the fact that Frolov scored 32 goals two seasons ago. That is not too far off!
Expect him to do well this season, and if he doesn’t, you may rant on me all you want. But I trust that he will do well for the Rangers, and I know I’m not the only one who thinks so.
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