Friday, January 7, 2011

Trade Rumor: New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens Talking; Frolov Involved?

The last time New York Rangers got together on a trade with the Montreal Canadiens the results were Gomez and his bloated contract went one way while the key pieces coming the other way were Ryan McDonagh, Pavel Valentenko and the cap space that allowed for the signing of Gaborik.  Today there is some “buzz” that the two sides might be dancing once again on a trade. 

Usually I avoid the rumors from Eklund because they have about a 1% chance of being accurate, but for some reason this one actually seems to make some sense, so let’s flush it out and see how real the possibility might be.

A source today told me to be on the lookout once again for the Canadiens to make a move, noting, "They have been carefully setting up a deal for the last 15 days." This time however, the deal is for a forward, and a familiar name...Alexandre Frolov has struggled this season. "His ice time was barely ten minutes last night."

Yet the chemistry Frolov once had with Cammalleri in Los Angeles has not been forgotten and there is a movement among some in Montreal's organization that Frolov could find that touch again if re-united with Mike.
A later update added, “Oh and I am hearing more and more about the Rangers and Habs talking. Based on what I have gotten I feel save to suggest Frolov is absolutely involved...”

Personally still not buying it unless I see someone else at least hint at something similar but conceptually it makes some sense for both sides.  Frolov has been a waste in New York and was once again moved to the fourth line last night as he has never found any semblance of his past form this season.  The only thing he has done this season is drive Rangers fans around the bend with his constant attempts at post spin moves and wraparounds.  Based on that the Rangers looking to move him is an obvious.

On the Montreal side they have failed to generate consistent offense have been looking for a potential top six type forward both in and outside the organization.  Personally I think Frolov’s days as that type of player are behind him, but if they believe that putting him back with Cammalleri could spark his old form or even just a better form than he currently has it could be a great chance to buy low.

Now that we looked at the Rangers wanting to move him and why the Canadiens might have interest there should at least be a discussion of what the Rangers would either get or have to take in order to do this.  Off the bat the Rangers should reject any scenario that has them getting Jaroslav Spacek as he has an extra year at 3.8 million against the cap unless Montreal is feeling generous and wants to take Rozsival back.  Personally I would love to deal Frolov just for a pick, but the Canadiens do not have the cap space to make a move like that nor do they have the ability to trade an huge expiring like Hamrlik with the injury to Georges. With that injury I could see Eminger having some appeal to them, but Torts seems enamored with him.

There is always trading enigma for enigma in Frolov for Kostitsyn though the Rangers would have to kick in something extra because Andrei’s upside is even if wildly inconsistent.  Kostitsyn could work very well with Gaborik, but he has as much potential to be the next member of Tortorella’s doghouse.  Overall I see some merit to the idea of Frolov to Montreal, but am not seeing a natural fit to come back the other way.  Guess we will find out if this was another one of Ek’s fantasy moves or if the squirrel found a nut.