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Alex Frolov not happy with ice time; wants to be traded?

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To say that Alex Frolov has had a disappointing season so far for the New York Rangers would be entirely too accurate. Frolov to this point has five goals and six assists. Coming off of a frustrating final season in Los Angeles, Frolov was hoping to go to New York and regain his old 30-plus goal scoring form. For a guy that’s 28 years-old it wasn’t unreasonable to take a chance on him, especially after butting heads with Kings coach Terry Murray.

Today, an interview with Frolov came out courtesy of Russian newspaper Sport-Express (link is Russian) and from what Frolov apparently had to say with them, he’s less than pleased with how things are going in Manhattan. Frolov apparently has issues with how he’s being used, how much playing time he gets and how Rangers head coach John Tortorella wants him to play. Sounds like fun. Beyond the Blueshirts has the translated excerpts for us to gawk at. The juiciest bit of the bunch is this question after sounding off about everything that’s troubling him.

– But you haven’t thought about a trade?

– Not yet. I really hope that after my conversation with Tortorella something changes. But if everything stays the same, then I’ll start to think [about it]…

Well then. A guy with 11 points thinking about demanding a trade after having issues fitting in with the Kings and, so far, the Rangers as well doesn’t provide much in the way of leverage. Of course, it would also help if Frolov had actually said those things too. Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants clears things up with Frolov and finds out that things are not as they might appear.

“It was a Russian guy and he asked me if I had some kind of fight with Torts, if there was some conflict going on,” Frolov said. “I said, ‘No.’”

“I had a conversation with Tortos but there’s no fighting, no conflict going on,” Frolov added. “Obviously, when you’re not playing enough, you want to play more, like any player.

“It was a good conversation,” Frolov said, adding he hasn’t seen the Russian article or the English translation. “I’m trying to work as hard as I can. I’ve improved in some areas. It’s a long season, there are lots of situations that can happen.”

I asked Frolov if he was happy in New York.

“Yeah, I am,” Frolov said. “He asked me about a trade. I said I never think about it. I’ve never asked for a trade. I didn’t discuss it with Torts. I guess he was trying to make up a story or to find something.”

Controversy averted for sure. Of course, having a meeting with Tortorella to discuss thing can be an uncomfortable situation. Torts is one intimidating human to talk to, something I’m happy/scarred to vouch for personally. Of course, if Frolov wants to avoid chatter like this, putting the puck in the net often is a good way to make sure people start talking about you in more positive ways. Five goals through nearly 30 games played is miserable for a guy who makes his living scoring.

A change has to happen or else living on the fourth line or in the press box will be more common than not.

Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

Matt Frattin
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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.

 

Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching

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One day after getting benched for showing up late for practice — following an “epic” Super Bowl party, per Sportsnet — Calgary forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma apologized for their actions.

“We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”

“I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”

More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:

Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.

Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”

“I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”

The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.

Afterward, Hartley downplayed the incident, saying “it’s not like they robbed a bank,” before adding “they’re great kids.”

WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Penguins on Rivalry Night

New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three
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Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)

You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s tilt:

NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Penguins renew acquaintances on Rivalry Night

Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’

‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds

Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week