Frolov `absolutely’ wants to stay

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I’ll try to run through these interviews as I did them today. By the way, I did get to talk with Dean Lombardi for a while today, and that will be up eventually. There’s no quick way to sum up the answers, but there are some good answers to some of the relevant topics.

For now, here’s Alexander Frolov, talking about his year, the desire to win and the potential for a new contract…

—–

Question: What do you take away from this season? Do you consider it a step in the right direction, or a disappointment because you didn’t make the playoffs?

FROLOV: “It is disappointing that we didn’t make it, because we had a really good chance. For almost the whole season, we were in the playoff hunt, then we kind of let it slip away, but I think there has been a lot of progress this year in the team game. I think it’s really been a positive thing and I think we’re in the right direction right now. We want to get better and finally get to the playoffs and become a really good team.”

Question: How would you sum up your season? You spent some time on the defensive line with Handzus, played quite a bit on the first line and even had a couple games on the fourth line. How would you say things went for you?

FROLOV: “Well, it always could be better. There are always a lot of things you can improve on. I know there is some stuff I need to work on and, as I said, we didn’t make the playoffs and that’s the most disappointing thing.”

Question: For the first time in a while, you can start thinking about a contract. You can start talking about an extension on July 1. Do you plan to have those talks, or do you want to see how things go next season?

FROLOV: “Well, I don’t think. I’m not really thinking about a contract yet. It’s something the GM has to do.”

Question: But would you like to stay here?

FROLOV: “Oh yeah, absolutely. I love L.A. and I love the team and the organization. I’ve been here for a long time and I really want to make the playoffs with this team.”

Question: So if they come to you and say they’d like to talk about an extension, you’d at least talk to them?

FROLOV: “Oh yeah, absolutely.”

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  • AK47

    Our biggest need: a scoring winger..

    Who might be dealt this off-season: our leading scorer, who happens to be not only the longest serving King, but also a winger..

    This is LA Kings hockey.. Go figure

  • Steve Jensen

    If the Kings trade Frolov in the off-season they would be making a big mistake. I’d be very disappointed.

    As opposed to many of the “other” Russian players, he is not flashy, egocentric, or self-absorbed. He’s a good teammate.

  • KingsQueen949

    OK…so I’m a chick. I already have tears thinking about the last game tomorrow and hoping it is NOT the last time I see Fro in a Kings Jersey.

  • Cricket

    Hopefully that he really wants to be here will go a ways with Dean. It’s still a nice, little read and good to hear where he stands.

  • 4thlinechecker

    Good to hear….

    Just a reminder, the Manch game is being shown on NHL network right now

  • Quisp

    He’s staying. He’s staying. H E I S S T A Y I N G. Think about how this is likely to play out:

    (okay, let’s downgrade it from “likely” to reasonably possible)

    DL goes after the big UFAs and this time lands one. Hossa (yay), Gaborik (uhhhh, yay? I don’t know), Havlat (I would previously said UGH, but he found his two-way self this year, so, provisionally: yay). This happens in the first week of July.

    Now it’s time to talk contract with Frolov. What does Frolov see? He sees the team actually ponying up and getting serious about the offense. He sees a team that really looks like it’s going to have a real shot at making the playoffs in 2009-2010. He’s put in a lot of time here. He’s going to bail now?

    I don’t think so.

    Also, I just don’t buy the whole dog-house thing. I don’t think Frolov has taken his “treatment” the way, for instance, people on this site have. I think he knows he has to work on his game on both sides of the puck, as they say. I think he knows that Murray did a lot of good for the team and for him this year. And I think he sees the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Also-also, I agree with him that they were close. I look back to about six weeks ago, when STL and the Kings were neck and neck. The Kings lost it, and STL did what we needed to do. And they’re probably going to make it. Well, they might make it. And the Kings won’t, this year.

    Any idiot can see that if you add a top-line scorer who plays a solid two-game (and therefore fits the system), that everyone benefits and the Kings graduate to the next step.

    Signing a big winger while losing Frolov doesn’t accomplish that. It has the potential to be a wash. A very expensive wash, since whoever they sign will cost three times what Frolov is getting next year.

    If the Kings stick with the system, their offense will improve, for the following reasons:

    (1) They will have added Hossa/Havlat/Gaborik/whoever.
    (2) They will not have traded Frolov.
    (3) Moller, Simmonds and Purcell will be a year older.
    (4) Doughty, Johnson and Quincey will be a year older. More activated D. Yes, please pause to imagine a MORE confident Doughty, with MORE of those rushes like he’s been doing the second half. MORE of those hits like the Gagner one the other night (that’s off the topic of offense, but I digress…).
    (5) The probable addition of Hickey or Voynov.
    (6) Williams will be healthy and up to speed.
    (7) Kopitar and Brown will both be a year older AND see point (1) and (6) above, they’ll have some other bodies to rely on, to take the pressure off them.
    (8) Calder will move on. I’m not anti-Calder, but it’s time and it will help us.
    (bonus point #9) I have to think, with the emergence of Moller, Simmonds and Purcell, and the probable promotion of Lewis, and maybe a surprise like Azevedo or like-sized scoring speedster (alternatively, the arrival of Cliche – finally!), that the Ivanans/Armstrong/whoever line will be a thing of the past. This last point is a little iffy right now, because I’m not sure TM doesn’t LIKE having a line of Frankensteins skating six minutes a game. But he did SAY he wanted to roll four lines with more consistency (that is, before he gave up hope of that); and next year there seems to me to be at least a good opporunity to put together what I always refer to as the Donnelly/Millen speedy sniper third line.

    TM has a bit of a problem in that he’s got a set of personnel that screams out for balance (balance which, this season anyway, was not tenable). This is mostly because Handzus and Stoll are both sort of third line centers, and yet they take lots of faceoffs. Because the fourth center is going to be someone like Boyle, or Moller, or Lewis, and because Stoll and Handzus get paid a lot, Stoll and Handzus are going to get labeled centers #2 and #3. But if you follow that logic, you end up with a fourth line of Boyle, Moller, Lewis, etc., i.e. the young guns. And you can’t have THAT line playing only six minutes a game. Those guys need to be playing third line minutes. But if you call them the third line, then really Handzus is the super-expensive fourth line center, and his winger is probably…Simmonds? And those two guys cannot have fourth line minutes. So there has to be balance, real balance, or you simply can’t have those lines.

    But it may get even weirder, because the better Moller and company get, Moller and Boyle for instance, the more they BECOME Handzus and Stoll, in the sense that they will take over the roles of those two guys. I mean, if we’re lucky enough that Moller becomes a 30 goal scorer, he’s going to end up being the second line center. Period. Same for Boyle. And gradually, Handzus and Stoll will get moved out.

    Unless the prospects crap out, of course.

    Anyway, multiple digressions later, all I was really trying to say was that TM might be forced to go with the balanced four lines he didn’t go with this year, and that will be a good thing for the offense.

  • 4thlinechecker

    Westgarth is playing against his brother, pretty cool lets see if they drop the mits against eachother

  • deadcatbounce

    Did you hear that, Mr. Lombardi? Frolov wants to stay in L.A., and he might even be willing to take a little hometown discount to get the deal done!

  • CanadianKing

    Sorry guys but Frolov won’t be here next year (and neither will Boyle for that matter).

    What has he honestly done for this team? Consistently one of our leading scorers and no yet no playoffs. Now I’m not pinning our crappiness on him alone but come on, it’s time for a replacement. It’s time to shed ourselves of inconsistent players and bring in some players who play with heart. This is the type of player DL loves (see Justin Williams) and for that reason I will be shocked to see Fro back next year.

  • variable

    quisp and the others….

    i have been saying this whole year what an underrated season frolov has had…

    i just hypothesized on a previous thread that if fro was playing on the top line full-time this year…instead of about 35-40 games, HE WOULD BE IN THE MIDST OF A 40+ GOAL SEASON…

    i hope he stays…
    i hope he stays…
    i hope he stays…
    (my dorothy/wizard of oz cheer…sans red shoes)

    i have said it a million times this year…in countless posts… and if i have to…when rich has he final post in the next coming days…i’ll be happy to supply a year-end final review…if you will, an exit interview/blog about each player…

    remember…

    respect the fro…

    and as bako is wont to say…

    respect the fro…or t.m. should go…

  • iansez

    24 stays unless a deal comes along that “makes sense” for the Kings whether that’s on draft day or otherwise. What “makes sense” to DL? Who knows, but he uses those words often, Fro won’t go unless there is something pretty good and immediately impactful (is that even a word?!) to the team coming back in return…

    Personally I love the guy, have seen him develop from those 10 wraparounds per game to what he is now, Kings success with him involved would be just that much sweeter..)

  • Bernie9

    If Alexander Frolov is not back, it will be Lombardi’s first big mistake (not withstanding a blockbuster deal that is)! Fro is a special, unique player…those that can’t see that are special in a different way.

  • tws

    If Frolov gets traded, it will be an extremely gloomy day. I’m really pissed off that he doesn’t get the respect he deserves from the Kings management. I’ve been a Kings fan my whole life but if he goes, I might seriously jump ship…and that is something that is extremely difficult to do after all the years I’ve spent watching this team suck. Frolov should be a King forever.

  • Bring Back the Shield Jersey

    TM’s insistence on a “Frankenstein line” (not really fair to poor Peter Harrold) has been one of TM’s worst worst. Yes, worst worst. Nearly zero offensive contribution, plenty of penalties taken, just a way to rest lines 1-3. But he’s played it this way ALL SEASON and given no indication that he would scrap it. It’s one of TM’s Old School traits that just bugs the crap out of me.

    A scrappy 3rd line fightin’ Canadian and a kid line could do quite a bit for us. Let ‘em play 6-9 minutes a game; most likely they’ll contribute enough to warrant more. They can’t contribute LESS.

    And don’t get me started with the issue of toughness. Runs at Doughty, Kopi, Simmonds all got no “response” from the team. Heck, even our “tough guy” Ivanans got cheap-shoted by Draper. The way TM treats this issue is just plain wrong.

    Please, give me a decently talented 4th line that genuinely has a chance to do something constructive, instead of this year’s 4th line which was just a sinkhole.

  • anthonyy

    IF DL can resign Frolov to a long term contract.
    That might stop some of the bleeding for me.

  • Quisp

    Bring back –

    To be fair, I do think that TM is playing the hand he was dealt. I’m right there with you on the fourth line assessment. I willing to at least entertain the possibility that I’m wrong and you do have to have a line of knuckle-draggers.

    When I think about future line combinations, it’s easy for me to picture certain kinds of lines. For instance, Lewis/Loktionov/Moller (speed). Wudrick/Boyle/Brown (freight trains with hands). Purcell/Moller/Simmonds (kind of the perfect #2 line in my opinion). Wudrick/Lewis/Cliche (defensively responsible scoring third line). Clune/Azevedo/?? (agitators). Of course, those lines can’t really happen as long as Stoll and Handzus are around, and of course as long as the prospects I just mentioned are still months if not years from being NHL ready.

    That said, I think things will become clearer once Lewis makes the team. Because he is a genuine third line two-way forward with skill, like Belanger used to be for us. If Lewis can get a foothold, if Boyle gets a second chance (a new contract) and makes the best of it, if Moller and Simmonds continue their growth … really, those four names, five since I want to add Purcell — if Purcell, Moller, Simmonds, Boyle and Lewis all contribute next year as much as Simmonds contributed this year, it will be a significantly better team we see in the fall. It never goes as smoothly as that, of course. But then, sometimes there are surprises.

    And let’s not forget the upcoming draft. The Kings are very likely to pick around 6th, and could end up picking Evander Kane, a very DL-ish center who some think can step right in next season. A power forward who is solid defensively and is a leader. Hmm.

    Has it struck anyone how weird it is that the Kings have somehow improved enough to be called surprising, to have been within reach of the playoffs until late in the season, and yet are still within reach of the number one pick overall? Look, it sucks not to make the playoffs when you thought for a second it could happen. But in a weird way this is working out just fine.

    H
    O
    S
    S
    A

  • Quisp

    Also, all the Kings have to do is lose tomorrow, and they will likely pick fifth, no lower than sixth, with a slim shot at #1. We’re going to get ourselves a fine, fine player if we’re picking in the top six.

  • Bernie9

    Yeah, what would it mean for this team to get the #1 overall?! It’s quite amazing in 40+ seasons we’ve never gotten to pick 1st – maybe this will be that draft. Kopitar-Tavares-Handzus-Stoll would be VERY strong down the middle!

  • Bernie9

    Hossa-Kopitar-Brown
    Frolov-Tavares-Williams
    Moller-Handzus-Simmonds
    Ivanans-Stoll-Boyle

  • JJ4Pres

    Franzen just resigned today, so no mule for us next year. I dont see Kane dropping to us unless someone drafts Cowen in front of us but I would be estactic about Kane, I see us drafting Schenn though.

  • deadcatbounce

    I don’t want to pick nits, but in the 1967 amateur draft the Kings had the number one overall pick and used it to draft the ever-memorable Rick Pagnutti. I’m sure it was all DL’s fault…

  • Quisp

    JJ4Pres, re draft, Kane/Cowen etc. –

    Right now, the ISS top ten is:

    1. John Tavares, C
    2. Victor Hedman, D
    3. Magnus Svensson-Paajarvi, LW
    4. Matt Duchene, C
    5. Brayden Schenn, C
    6. Evander Kane, C
    7. Jared Cowen, D
    8. Nazem Kadri, C
    9. Dmitry Kulikov, D
    10. Jacob Josefson, C

    I think it’s pretty safe to assume that the top two picks will be as ranked. #3-7, though, could get all jumbled up. I have heard people put Duchene and Kane as high as 3. The Kings are — as I type — winning against the Sharks, and with those annoying two points (WHY!!!!??) they drop to 7th. If Phoenix wins and Toronto wins or loses in OT/SO, the Kings “climb” to fifth. The Kings are extremely likely to pick between 5th and 7th, with a small chance of dropping as low as 8th.

    Kane will not be available at 8th. But he might be at 5th or 6th. Go Phoenix! Go Toronto!

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