Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Frolov Hammers Final Nail in his Rangers Coffin: Stop Whining, Start Packing.

To say that the excitement over the Alex Frolov signing has died for Rangers fans would be the understatement of the year.  What was excitement turned quickly to disgust as they watched him try wraparound after wraparound along with missing the net at a staggering pace from right in front of it.  If the fans needed any more reason to turn that disgust to hatred then Alex Frolov just gave it to them with his interview with Russia’s Sport Express reporter Vasily Osipov last week. 

In the interview which has been fully translated by Beyond the Blueshirts he told the reporter that he was not happy with his ice time and being relegate to the fourth line.  He spoke of how he had a private conversation with coach John Tortorella to complain about the move and was apparently told that it was not a personal move by the coach but part of Torts wheel of lines. No, they did not use that terminology.  The money quote was the following:
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.
Here we have a guy who was forced by lack of alternate interest around the league to settle for a one year deal with the Rangers in the hopes that playing with Marian Gaborik could get his career back on track and he has failed to perform whining about how he is being used.  How about instead of whining about the line you are you act like Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov did when they were relegated down by the spinning line changes and raise your level of play.  Instead of running your mouth, run your legs and swing your stick to where the puck goes in the net.  Do that and I can guarantee your minutes, your line and the way you are used will all improve to your satisfaction.  If anything the way that Frolov is playing now he should be thanking the coach for putting him in the lineup at all as he is having less impact than Derek Boogaard.

This type of move is not new for Frolov as he did the same thing last season to try and explain his continued deterioration in his numbers putting it on being used in a lower capacity by the club.  At some point a player has to look in the mirror and hold himself accountable for his own play or else your complaints just become a joke to everyone else.

Personally I do blame Tortorella for this in one respect and it is personified in this translated quote:
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. However I’ve already adapted now to the new system [and] begun to understand the head coach’s requirements. And he seems satisfied with my performance on the ice. Or so he says at least. He promised that in the near future he’ll give me more playing time. We’ll see what happens.
I understand that Torts wants to put on his happy face when he talks to Sam Rosen on MSG before games but that he is consistently talking about how close Frolov is and how hard he is working even when the results are not there sends a mixed message when he leaves him on the fourth line.  If he was really that close he would be putting him in a position more apt to get chances, wouldn’t he?  You cannot blow smoke up the hole of someone who already has an oversized view of themselves and not expect them to be confused when you fail to slobber over them in terms of ice time and opportunities.

This scenario as I commented on last week is growing more and more like that of Ales Kotalik and like Kotalik it would behoove the Rangers to see if they can move Frolov for anything they can get in return.

Let me know what you think.