Congratulations, Sergei Isakov. You’ve done well to sell your client, Alexander Frolov, to a new team, the New York Rangers. Frolov is a talented player who is hitting his prime and surely has plenty of talent left to offer. Desire, however, is another thing.
As we’ve heard time and again, Frolov didn’t have the best relationship with Kings coach Terry Murray. His role on the team diminished from a 1st line offensive role, to a 3rd line complementary scoring role. Yet, there are differing accounts of why this move was made.
From the Kings organization’s side of things, it was a coaching move. Terry Murray didn’t see Frolov playing with the type of grit and desire he wanted from him and demoted him. This happens all the time. A player isn’t giving it his all and the coach will demote him to a lower line, or bench him, or just scratch him. Hopefully it will light a fire under the player and illicit a positive response. Sometimes it produces a less than positive response.
In the case of Frolov, no fan of the Kings really expected him to be back. We all saw how he played and on some nights he was a dynamo. On others he seemed like he couldn’t care less. He could cycle the puck all day on the boards, lose it, and just sort of give up. It was indicative of the attitude that got him on the 3rd line in the first place.
From Isakov’s point of view, it was a management decision. Terry Murray wasn’t in charge of Frolov’s demotion, but the organization wanted him on a lower line. This excerpt is from a Puck Daddy post published yesterday, the original interview is from SovSport:
Q. And the Kings marred Alexander’s last season by criticizing him, shifting him from the first line to the third, by benching him. You can’t show a good game like this.
ISAKOV: Don’t you know how people are treated in the NHL? If a player has a year left on his contract it is necessary to spoil his season in order not to sign him for big money. That’s what happened with Frolov.
How about that for an allegation? Isakov said the Kings torpedoed Frolov’s season in order to reduce his value and re-sign him. He alleges this is a common practice in the NHL. Does anyone else see where this logic is flawed? Let’s go back and look at the first question posted from that interview:
Q. Did Los Angeles want to keep Frolov? He played seven seasons with the Los Angeles Kings.
ISAKOV: The Kings started slow negotiations with Frolov again. I think that Los Angeles is actually concentrating on signing Kovalchuk. There is a big chance that Ilya will become a free agent again. And it was so happening that Frolov’s future in Los Angeles depended on someone else. And it wasn’t nice.
So according to the question on top, the Kings wanted to keep Frolov so bad that they were willing to force him to play a poor season in order to reduce his value? Yet, Isakov also says they weren’t really focused on Frolov, but Kovalchuk. What sense does that make? You can’t have it both ways, Sergei. Either they really wanted Frolov so they bumped him down, or they really wanted Kovalchuk so they neglected Frolov.
Furthermore, why would the organization mistreat a player and demote them to the 3rd line if they were trying to win? Does it make any sense that the Kings would sabotage their own chances of winning by hiding a talented offensive threat just for the sake of re-signing him cheaper next year? No, it doesn’t. Frolov was on the 3rd line because there were players giving more of an effort who deserved those spots and gave the Kings a better chance of winning.
The truth is evident. Isakov wants money. He wants more money than his player is worth and he is bitter that the Kings put Frolov on the 3rd line and took money out of his pockets. No one is stupid enough to believe this haphazard, mishmash logic that unfolds itself in a matter of two measly questions. I’ll bet even the Rangers, who just signed Frolov, didn’t buy that garbage.
Next time try to make up a story that works, Sergei. Best of luck to you in your career, Alexander Frolov.
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney