Alexander Frolov close to signing with New York Rangers
The Kings, who made no offer to retain left winger Alexander Frolov before he became a free agent, approached him about staying in Los Angeles after their pursuit of Ilya Kovalchuk and another player fell through.
However, according to a source familiar with the situation, Frolov said no thanks because he has an offer from the New York Rangers. Frolov is expected to agree to terms with the Rangers in the next day or so.
After not getting an offer from the Kings, the only NHL team he has played for, Frolov considered returning home to Russia to play in the KHL and told the Kings he was undecided about his future. After it appeared the Kings would not get Kovalchuk, who signed with the New Jersey Devils, and after another option also fell through, the Kings contacted Frolov again. But by then he had gotten a solid offer from the Rangers.
Frolov, 28. has had two 30-plus-goal seasons and three 20-plus-goal seasons but scored only 19 goals and 51 points last season. His work ethic was questioned by Coach Terry Murray, who sat him out of the lineup for an early-season game. That snub was cited by his Russian agent as a reason Frolov didn't want to stay.
Frolov finished a five-year, $14.5 million contract in which he earned $4 million last season -- and reportedly was looking for a raise. That's not likely to happen, even with the free-spending Rangers.
In the meantime, the Kings have not added any free agents and are about to lose Frolov after also losing defenseman Sean O'Donnell. They hope to woo Kovalchuk again if an arbitrator upholds the NHL's rejection of the contract he signed with New Jersey and he becomes a free agent, but there's no guarantee that will happen -- or that Kovalchuk would be willing to swallow all his praise of the Devils and sign with the Kings on the rebound.
There's lots more fun in store for everyone involved, with the NHL Players Assn. having filed a grievance of the league's rejection of the contract and the matter headed to arbitration.
-- Helene Elliott