NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18: (L-R) Marc Staal #18 and Alex Frolov #31 of the New York Rangers celebrate Frolov's first goal of the season at 18:09 of the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden on October 18 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
In a recent interview with Russia's Sports-Express, 'enigmatic winger' Alex Frolov voiced his displeasure with being relegated to a fourth line role. Frolov all but punched himself a one way ticket to the KHL this summer as he has completely lost grips with the reality of being a professional hockey player:
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. 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.
Wrong. It is completely acceptable for you to be playing 7-8 minutes a game. Five goals in 29 games is what is unacceptable. An inability to finish the play is unacceptable. At the start of the year, Frolov was a bit snake bitten and was having trouble finding his groove. Completely understandable. It's his first season with a new team after playing his first seven years in the NHL with the Kings. But his inability to produce tried John Tortorella's patience to the point where it cannot be justified for Frolov to play top six minutes.
When asked why adjusting to the system in New York may have been difficult, Frolov completely chucked logic out the window.:
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.
What a novel concept, Tortorella is asking you to play defense. Wow, what a terrible idea.
Prior to this interview, Frolov was in the midst of becoming expendable. As a player with a one year contract, who in all likelihood has no future with the organization, he should been sent to the press box for the next few games. Replace him with Mats Zuccarello or another player from Hartford. Nobody is bigger than the team. This is not the NFL, complaining to the media about playing time (Russian media or not) is unacceptable.
If you do not earn your ice time you do not deserve to play; regardless of past years performances or contract. If Frolov wants to be in a top six role he needs to earn it and thus far he hasn't. He should warm up to the idea of playing in the KHL where defense is secondary and NHL caliber players can put forth half the effort and still make the big bucks.
Frolov was teetering on being added to the list of free agency busts in New York before this interview...
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