On July 31, 2010, the New York Rangers signed free agent winger Alexander Frolov to a bargain one-year deal worth $3 million.
With the Frolov signing, the Rangers were given a second scoring threat on offense to complement superstar right winger, Marian Gaborik.
Gaborik led the Rangers in each scoring category in the 2009-10 season, totaling 42 goals, 44 assists and 86 points on the season. The player in second place for each statistic was Vinny Prospal, who totaled 20 goals, 38 assists and 58 points; none of those totals were even relatively close to those Marian Gaborik totaled.
The Rangers needed to add secondary scoring to their roster and Frolov seemed to be the right player for the job.
Coming into the season, the idea was to have Gaborik and Frolov play on the same line for the 82-game season. Both players would click and have instant chemistry, and Frolov would be that extra scorer on offense that the Rangers missed last season.
Well, at least that was the idea planted into most Rangers fans brains (myself included).
So far this season Frolov has scored two goals and four assists, for a total of six points in 16 games. Not the numbers most Ranger fans expected from the two-time 30-goal scorer.
But Frolov does have an excuse for his early season slump—he has only played four games with Marian Gaborik this season. Gaborik was forced to miss 12 games with a shoulder injury, and in his absence Alex Frolov was forced to play on several different lines.
In Gaborik's absence Frolov played on a line with Erik Christensen as his center, Derek Stepan as his center, Sean Avery as his opposite winger, Brandon Prust as his opposite winger and occasionally Frolov would be benched due to "poor" playing.
He was unable to create any chemistry with those players.
I have seen and heard many Rangers fans criticize Frolov for his early season slump, and it seems that the most of the Rangers community has given up the "Fro."
I am not going to stand up for Frolov much longer. He has missed multiple open net chances and his wraparound attempts have become laughable, but I will say that it is way to early to give up on Frolov.
Marian Gaborik has returned to the lineup, and I expect that his return will pay dividends to Alexander Frolov and boost his playing ability and scoring production.
The two scoring wingers will likely get multiple chances on the power play together, and that should also help Frolov regain his scoring touch from two years ago when he scored 32 goals for the Los Angeles Kings.
Ranger fans, do not give up on Alexander Frolov just yet. Give him a chance. It's been 16 games for goodness sake, and some of you are already thinking "TRADE HIM!" If we were in January and his totals looked like this, than it would be different story and I too would jump on the bandwagon for a Frolov trade.
But it is not January, it is November. The season is 16 games young, give Frolov a chance.