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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.

Shock of Lightning: Stamkos will play

Steven Stamkos
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He’s in.

As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.

Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.

More:

Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.

That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.

Per NHL.com, Stamkos took the warmup and participated in line rushes centering Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan.

It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.

To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.

 

Drama builds as Stamkos takes Game 7 warmup

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 26:  Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on February 26, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. The Lightning shutout the Devils 4-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Steve Stamkos took the team bus to tonight’s Eastern Conference Game 7 in Pittsburgh. As TVA noted, it was the first time he’s arrived early for a game in these playoffs.

In his pregame presser, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper refused to answer any questions about Stamkos’ availability.

And then Stamkos took the warmup.

As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.

“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”

No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.

Stay tuned…

Parise rehabbing back injury without surgery, ‘no question’ he’ll play in World Cup

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 17:  Zach Parise #11 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 17, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Wild 7-4.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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EDINA, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise has been rehabilitating his back injury without surgery, putting him on track to be at full strength by September.

Parise said Thursday he’s “happy with the way everything’s going.” He said he’s been able to work out as he normally does during the summer, despite missing the playoffs because of the injury.

Parise said there’s “no question” he’ll be ready to play for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey tournament.

Parise joined teammates Erik Haula, Jason Pominville, Nate Prosser, Jared Spurgeon and Jason Zucker at an autograph signing to raise money for people affected by the wildfires in Alberta. The parents of Spurgeon’s wife, Danielle, lost their home to a fire in the Edmonton area.

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Penguins, Game 7

TAMPA, FL - MAY 24:  Alex Killorn #17 of the Tampa Bay Lightning falls to the ice at the net against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena on May 24, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
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Not much more to say than this:

GAME 7.

Puck drop is at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, but you can also catch the game online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

It’s been a ‘roller coaster’ — Pens, Bolts ready for Game 7

Vasilevskiy ‘is the big reason we’re in Game 7,’ says Bolts coach Cooper

Pens coach praises Murray: ‘He doesn’t get rattled’

Video: Johnson pays the price for Tampa Bay