Frozen Royalty: Frolov to the KHL?
It’s no real shock that Alexander Frolov will not be a Los Angeles King next season. His time with the team is over. Here, Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty gives his take on the enigmatic winger and his possible destination.
COMMENTARY/ANALYSIS: Winger Alexander Frolov likely has a little over five weeks left with the Los Angeles Kings before heading elsewhere to continue his playing career…this should come as a surprise to no one.
LOS ANGELES — For all of you Alexander Frolov fans out there, I regret to inform you that his days with the Los Angeles Kings are very, very likely over.
On May 26, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi appeared on Neilson and Chase In the Morning on Edmonton Sports Radio Team 1260 in Edmonton, Alberta. When asked about Frolov, Lombardi said that he was not optimistic about being able to re-sign the enigmatic winger.
“When you talk about building today, it’s certainly different from prior to the lockout,” said Lombardi. “You really get tied in with, ‘Do you like the player?’ Yes, but do you like him at ‘X’ price? Because you now have to get the right price, if you’re going to be able to keep your core together. So would we like to keep him? Yes, but if the price is prohibitive and maybe would prevent us from filling other holes and making sure we keep [defensemen Drew] Doughty and [Jack] Johnson and all these kids coming through, then you have to walk away.”
“I’m not too optimistic, given what he’s looking for,” added Lombardi, who went on to say that Frolov’s salary demands exceed his actual value in the National Hockey League, but added that one cannot blame a player for being attracted by the ungodly sums of tax-free money that the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia is throwing at players, and you can bet that the KHL is doing whatever it can to get Frolov to play back home.
One thing that Lombardi’s comments on the Edmonton radio show revealed was that nothing has changed since earlier in the season in terms of his stance on Frolov or in terms of the salary Frolov is seeking from the Kings and, presumably, other NHL teams that might be interested in his services when he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
In fact, it appears that Lombardi has not budged one bit from his position held earlier in the season.
“Our problem under this new system [with the salary cap], is OK, I can’t pay you as a forty-goal scorer,” Lombardi said in a January 2010 interview with Frozen Royalty (see “Alexander Frolov Creates Dilemma For Dean Lombardi). “I’m not sure I can pay you as a thirty-goal scorer. I like you, even if you stay the same, I think I can win a [Stanley] Cup for you in this role. But if a player has to get X amount of dollars, he has to fill [the] role [that fits that dollar amount].”
“That’s the quandary as a manager—there was an article today about all the guys making $9 million,” Lombardi elaborated. “If you’re making $9 million you have to be the leader, you have to carry the ball, score—you have to be everything.”
Read the rest on Frozen Royalty.