Tag: Alex Frolov

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Three

Alex Frolov denies accusing Sean Avery of making racist comments

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Strange things happen when you combine the language barrier with a need to back down from controversial comments. For those of us who don’t speak fluent Russian, we often have to take a foreign source’s word for things when a European player makes some controversial remarks.

It’s hard to tell how exactly the true thesis of Alex Frolov’s commentary about controversial former teammate Sean Avery was lost in translation, but it certainly was for quite some time when the story circulated around the hockey world on Monday. Before we get to the clarification, here’s the snippet from Joe’s Monday post regarding the comments that incensed some and eventually bewildered observers.

Slava Malmud of sport-express.ru translated the Q&A portion of the interview with Frolov to reveal what seems to be some pretty inflammatory comments.

Q: Why does everyone hate him?
AF: It’s not hate, it’s… He has a specific role, he is a pretty unique man and he likes to do, let’s say, extravagant things. Sometimes they’d be bordering on the forbidden. He isn’t a fool. Lately he has become calmer, smarter. Before he’d get swept away with emotions and do something stupid. To mention each and every one of his stunts… Something always happens around him, it’s a part of his job. He needs to be talked about. He loves it, he feels at home in the spotlight. Sometimes he called opponents “black monkeys.” He did a lot of things, I can’t remember all of them.

Yikes, right?

Frolov claims that he was either being misquoted or that his comments were taken out of context, according to a conversation with Jesse Spector.

“I didn’t say anything about Aves calling someone bad language – I was saying he’s really emotional and that in the past he could say the wrong thing,” Frolov told The News. “It wasn’t particularly about black people. He doesn’t have anything against black people. I mean, he’s a nice person, and he wouldn’t say something bad about black people or Asian people or any kind of people. It’s some kind of misunderstanding.”

Frolov’s relationship with Avery is interesting for the fact that they played together not only this past season, but also with the Los Angeles Kings from 2003-07, until Avery was traded to the Rangers. It was that incarnation of Avery that Frolov was mostly talking about in the interview, the Avery who was accused by the Oilers’ Georges Laraque of using a racial slur in 2005.

“I never heard him call anyone anything like that,” Frolov told The News. “Russian journalists, they were asking about him, and sometimes he could say something stupid, especially in the past. He’s not a bad person. He’s a good guy. … I didn’t try to say anything bad about Aves or say that he was trying to say something bad about anyone else.”

When it comes to a well-publicized agitator like Avery, many people will assume that he’s guilty until proven innocent. Who knows whether or not he made that comment toward Laraque or other ugly remarks to a variety of other opponents. It would take a dump truck full of naivete to assume that personal acts aren’t thrown around in the heat of battle, even when Mr. Avery is far from the scene.

It seems like the general message from Frolov – not to mention Avery’s more respectable series of react decisions – is that the man I once called “The Bart Simpson of Hockey” is growing up a bit. Greg Wyshynski provides this amusing vision of what might be going on in Avery’s head.

And that’s the point, isn’t it? That at sometime around Sloppy Seconds Gate, Avery decided he didn’t like the person staring back at him through $300 fashion glasses in that mirror from Urban Outfitters, and decided to change his behavior? That he’s still a pain in the ass but not the pain in the ass dropping racial taunts?

If only the takeaway quote from Frolov had been “calmer and smarter” instead. Because that’s Avery in 2011.

With the New York Rangers possibly primed for the 24/7 spotlight late this year, Avery could be the program’s best talker or biggest villain (or maybe a little of both). Perhaps we’ll get a better idea about the “new” Sean Avery then. Better yet, maybe the new Avery can even help the Rangers become an elite team next season.

Alex Frolov leaves NHL, Rangers for KHL after disappointing season


There tends to be two basic cases of NHL-to-KHL defections. On one hand, you have players who seemed to leave the NHL too soon (Alex Radulov is the poster child for this scenario). Conversely, there are cases in which a player needs to find his game again overseas or simply doesn’t have what it takes to be relevant in the league any longer.

On face value, Alex Frolov’s defection would seemingly fit in the “too soon” category. After all, the two-time 30-goal scorer is just 28-years-old. Yet anyone who has followed his career (particularly during the last two seasons) would acknowledge that his game has fallen off the map.

Frolov’s first six seasons with the Los Angeles Kings seemed to implicate a slow rise to semi-stardom, but his final one included healthy scratches and a disappointing 19-goal output (his second lowest since joining the team). He tried to resurrect his career with the New York Rangers in 2010-11, but a torn ACL cut short a depressingly unproductive season (seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 43 games played).

It’s not crazy to wonder if Frolov could have given it one more shot in 2011-12, but you cannot really blame him for leaving the NHL, either. While the Russian winger sports solid size and puck possession skills, his game is often a bit passive and he probably suffered from some personality clashes with his last two hard-nosed coaches. He should be more at home (both literally and figuratively) in Russia.

Greg Wyshynski reports that Frolov signed a three-year deal with Avangard Omsk, so perhaps he’ll want to give the NHL another shot once that deal runs out. He would be 31 going on 32 around that time, so it’s not out of the question that he could return.

The bigger question, obviously, is if whether or not he would want to come back.

Rangers top scorer Brandon Dubinsky to miss 3-4 weeks with stress fracture

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The injury bug sweeping through the Rangers locker room isn’t done spreading misery. The team’s leading scorer, Brandon Dubinsky, will miss the next 3-4 weeks with a stress fracture in his left fibula.

Dubinsky’s 17 goals and 21 assists lead the team in both categories and his 38 points have been crucial to what little offensive success the Rangers have seen this year. The team’s woeful offensive performance this season can be attributed to a less-than stellar season out of Marian Gaborik as well as to injuries to Vinny Prospal, Ryan Callahan, and Alexander Frolov.

The Rangers are currently in the middle of the pack in the NHL in goals scored but with Dubinsky being their one consistent performer, the time for Marian Gaborik to step his game up has never been higher. Gaborik has 11 goals and 13 assists this year and for a former 40-goal scorer, those numbers are terrible, especially on a team that was going to be lacking offense as it was. Rookie Derek Stepan has stepped in and played very well for New York, but getting Gaborik going and filling the net is a must-have now for the Rangers.

Alexander Frolov requires season-ending surgery for torn ACL


What happened to Alexander Frolov? This question isn’t exclusive to the injury he suffered on Saturday, but instead focused on the fact that the New York Rangers and former Los Angeles Kings forward’s career has been steadily going downhill for years.

The Canadian Press reports that Frolov will miss the rest of the 2010-11 season because of season-ending surgery on a torn ACL suffered during Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. Frolov hurt his right knee in that game.

One has to wonder what the future holds for a player who seemed like at least a minor star-in-the-making at one point when he was skating with the Kings. By the end of Frolov’s six NHL season 08-09, he already had two 30+ goal campaigns and three more 20+ goal outputs. Yet his point totals have dropped each year since his career-high of 71 in the 06-07 campaign; he only had seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in 43 games this season. That’s the kind of pace that he was on in his 31-point rookie season in 02-03, his previous career low.

Frolov won’t get a chance to turn things around this season because of that surgery. Considering the trouble he faced finding a job in free agency last summer, it’s not crazy to wonder if his NHL career is in jeopardy.

Marian Gaborik’s hat trick powers Rangers past Oilers 8-2

A day after Ray Whitney scored his first goal(s) of the season via a hat trick, Marian Gaborik did just the same … and he didn’t even need an empty net to earn his third one. As you can see from the video, Gaborik scored one somewhat ugly goal to start things off and then capped his night with two beautiful breakaways to earn the hat trick. He also had an assist, giving him an excellent four-point day.

Gaborik wasn’t the only New York Ranger who stood out in the team’s beating of the woeful Edmonton Oilers, though.

NY Rangers 8, Edmonton 2

Alex Frolov also produced four points in this game, scoring two goals and two assists. Artem Anisimov and Ruslan Fedetenko also scored goals for the Rangers this afternoon.

Amazingly enough, the Oilers actually had a 2-1 lead at one point in the game. After giving up Gaborik’s first goal, Ryan Jones and Shawn Horcoff scored for Edmonton. That one ray of light must be hard to remember after allowing seven unanswered goals, though.

The Oilers have just been atrocious on defense and in net, most disturbingly with Nikolai Khabibulin between the pipes. He allowed 6, 7 and 8 goals in his last three games. Overall, the Oilers are 2-9-3 since starting the season 2-0. The only good news is that their five-game road trip is over.

Meanwhile, the Rangers are just plugging along. After dropping two games in a row, New York put together two straight wins. Martin Biron won those two games, although it’s probably important to note that those wings came against two of the worst teams in the league (Edmonton and Buffalo). Still, these small stretches are the reason you add a solid veteran like Biron.