When Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi and head coach Terry Murray sat Alexander Frolov down to talk about his commitment to the franchise, they expected to see results. Unfortunately, Frolov didn’t come up with his end of the bargain and was benched from the lineup Monday when the Kings played the Dallas Stars.
With hopes of sending a message to some of the Kings’ younger players, Murray’s benching of Frolov also showcased the reality that Frolov may be in some hot water in Los Angeles.
See, the Kings are (as usual, seemingly) in rebuilding mode and Frolov should be a significant part of where the team is heading. Kings management needs some sign of effort or commitment from the Russian winger, but they’ve yet to get any serious signals from their player. So it would stand to reason that now is the time to play hardball with the guy.
And that means that talk of Frolov being trade bait for the Kings is starting to make the rounds. Should Frolov not buy in to Murray’s system in Los Angeles, he could be on the move later in the season. The Kings, by all accounts, aren’t quite ready to dish the winger quite yet, but if things don’t start to turn around they could be looking to shop him.
Said Lombardi regarding Frolov’s benching on Monday: “It’s not a player making a physical mistake. It borders on not caring and that’s not tolerable. And what we’ll do as a team and as a franchise is you get on board or you get a surfboard and go to Hawaii. So that’s it.”
Lombardi and Frolov’s agent were supposed to hammer out a new contract at the start of the season, but those talks didn’t really develop. There were plans for a new set of talks to get underway around the middle of this year, but if Frolov doesn’t get his act in gear it’s unlikely that anything will come out of those talks. It’s also unlikely that those talks won’t even take place, especially if Frolov keeps trying Lombardi’s patience.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.