Well, it is official, the Rangers have signed Alexander "Sasha" Frolov. The terms appear to be one year, $3 million.
I want to make it clear - as it perhaps was not yesterday - I don't hate Frolov. I hate what he stands for. He is the latest mercenary that Sather has signed to maintain this mediocre team's meager reputation. As I tweeted yesterday, I want the franchise to "Either go 4 the Cup or build a team that can win 1. Don't set the bar at 8th place." By bringing in another hired gun, that is all that they are doing.
Tortorella and Sather said all the right things last month to get season ticket holders to re-up: 'youth will be served' and 'the kids will get every chance to make the lineup this fall.' Now that is certainly not the case. Adding a top six winger ensures that any of the skill kids will be on the outside looking in. For all of the hype about Mats Zuccarello-Aasen, his spot on the roster has now been filled. As we saw last season with Corey Locke and PA Parenteau, you can't put a small skill guy on the third or fourth line and have them be effective. Now, unless an injury bug hits the Blueshirts hard, the only open spot on offense will be the time-share with the Boogeyman on the fourth line.
Having Frolov come in one a one-year deal is good in that he will be motivated. He should - emphasize should - be playing with a chip on a shoulder. He needs to prove that he is the 35 goal guy of four years ago who deserves a big money contract rather than the one who lost his top-six slot last season and managed just 19 before being unceremoniously dumped by his team. He could be a high-octane sniper who can come in and give Arty Anisimov some confidence. Replacing Arty's boyfriend Enver with a mentor who speaks his language hopefully will be quite the boon.
And that is all we can hope for. Youth will never be properly served in New York, no matter how much we may want it to be. The big brass feels that they have to ease it in one or two guys a season. It is incredibly frustrating because that isn't the way to build a Stanley Cup contender in today's league. I saw the Stanley Cup raised just feet away from me in Philadelphia last month so forgive me if I want to see it raised in New York sometime soon.