Struggling winger Alexander Frolov made some waves when an interview with Russian newspaper Sports-Express included comments indicating the Russian might “start to think about” asking for a trade if he continues to have his minutes limited by head coach John Tortorella.
Is it possible to build any parallels to what occurred to you last year in Los Angeles?
I don’t want to compare the two situations yet. It’s a long season, everything could still change.
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] ...
Needless to say, that triggered some questions from the Rangers media at practice Wednesday, with both Frolov and Tortorella. Here’s Frolov’s explanation via Andrew Gross:
“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.”
Gross also 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.”
And here’s a comment from Tortorella on Frolov’s recent play from after practice, again via Gross:
“He’s improved in, for me, that most important part of his game and that was defensively,” Tortorella said. “Because if you’re not scoring, you can’t hurt the team away from the puck. I think he’s improved there. I think he’ll find a way. He had a couple of great chances on the power play. He had a tip when he fell on his butt there, and had a great chance in the third period on the power play [against the Senators this past weekend]. The puck’s not going in for him. As I’ve explained to him, we want to him to continue to try and concentrate on shooting more, on being around the net more and not behind it. I don’t have a crystal ball. I want him to keep trying. I want him to continue to work away from the puck or all things fall apart then. Hopefully we can grind him through it and he can find a streak, find some confidence as far as some production.”