Kings unlikely to keep Alexander Frolov

Per Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider, we have a good transcipt of
Kings GM Dean Lombardi’s appearance on radio today, as he discussed free
agency and what the team might be thinking when it comes to Alexander
Frolov. The Kings have a significant portion of their roster set to hit
free agency this summer and with several young players approaching their
paydays the Kings will have some difficult choices to make.

After seven seasons with the Kings, it’s likely that Frolov’s time
with the team is coming to an end. He’s a talented goal-scorer, who has
topped 30 goals twice in his career, yet had a disappointing 19 goals in
81 games in a contract year.

Here’s Lombardi on Frolov:

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 Doughty and Johnson and all these kids coming
through, then you have to walk away. I think you’re probably right on
Fro. He’s a good player. I guess at times, like you say, you think he’s
capable of more, but he’s still a productive player. But you still now
have to really be astute in how you attach a price tag to that, or
you’re going to get yourself in trouble down the road, and then all this
building we’ve done makes no sense if we can’t keep these young players
that have come through our system. So I’m not too optimistic, given
what he’s looking for.

Lombardi also goes on to
mention the KHL as competition for Frolov, where the contracts are
higher and tax-free.

Frolov made $4 million this past season in
the final year of his five-year contract, and he’s most likely going to
be looking for a least that in his next contract. Frolov is certainly
talented, but if the team he’s played for the past seven seasons is
thinking that perhaps the effort isn’t always there, then there’s
absolutely no chance the pay that price for him again.

Larkin will start season with Red Wings

Dylan Larkin
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Dylan Larkin — despite being just 19 years old — will begin the season on the Detroit Red Wings, a team not normally accustomed to having teenagers in the lineup.

Coach Jeff Blashill confirmed the news this morning. Larkin could apparently start on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader.

Larkin, the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, had three goals and one assist in five preseason games. A natural center, he’s shown the potential to one day step into the kind of “big-time” role that Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have played for so long in Detroit.

“You have to give our scouts credit,” former coach Mike Babcock told ESPN in May. “We got a great pick where we picked. How high end is he? How soon?”

Related: Coaching change ‘one of the reasons’ Larkin signed with Wings

Preseason stats: Five goalies with good numbers, five goalies with…not

Anders Nilsson
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Yeah, yeah, it’s a small sample size and it’s just the preseason, but here are some goaltending stats anyway.

Five goalies with good numbers

Anders Nilsson, Edmonton — zero goals on 53 shots. His solid play a likely factor in the decision to waive Ben Scrivens, who actually wasn’t that bad in the preseason (4 goals on 56 shots).

Martin Jones, San Jose — three goals on 100 shots. The Sharks are rolling the dice on a couple of cheap goalies. Jones and Alex Stalock have a combined cap hit of just $4.6 million.

Jacob Markstom, Vancouver — three goals on 79 shots. Can he finally get over the NHL hump? If so, he could make it a real competition with Ryan Miller.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus — five goals on 122 shots. The Blue Jackets have scored a ton of goals in the preseason, but there remain questions about their blue line. Bobrovsky has the ability to make a so-so defense look good.

Anton Khudobin, Anaheim — two goals on 67 shots. A good early sign for the Ducks, who have Frederik Andersen in the starting role and want to give young John Gibson more time to develop in the AHL.

Five goalies with bad numbers

Thomas Greiss, Islanders — 14 goals on 94 shots. Has to be a bit of concern in Brooklyn. The Isles got below-average backup play last season from Chad Johnson. They wanted to fix that with the Greiss signing.

Robin Lehner, Buffalo — 11 goals on 95 shots. Tim Murray paid a hefty price to get the 24-year-old out of Ottawa. With the aforementioned Johnson in the backup role, the goaltending story is worth watching.

Jeff Zatkoff, Pittsburgh — 11 goals on 74 shots. Granted, Marc-Andre Fleury and Matthew Murray weren’t particularly sharp either. The Penguins conceded 28 goals in eight games.

Kari Lehtonen, Dallas — 15 goals on 84 shots. For a Stars team that desperately needs better goaltending, that has to be worrying. Antti Niemi wasn’t a whole lot better either, allowing eight goals on 65 shots. Fair question to ask — how many of all those goals were attributable to poor defensive play?

Pekka Rinne, Nashville — 12 goals on 91 shots. Has earned the benefit of the doubt, but thought we’d point it out anyway.