The Los Angeles Kings recent one-game benching of left winger Alexander Frolov has led to speculation the club could be shopping him.
A recent report from Canoe.ca linked Frolov to the Montreal Canadiens, noting a rumor that would have the Habs packaging disgruntled American-Leaguer Sergei Kostitsyn and his struggling brother Andrei to the Kings for Frolov.
Frolov has also been linked to the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks, but suggesting a one-game benching means Frolov is on the block is a bit of a stretch. He’s an unrestricted free agent next summer and it’s quite possible, given the Kings’ depth in budding talent, he might not fit into their future plans.
Still, Frolov’s scored 30 goals or more in two of the past three seasons and, at 27 years old, is in his prime. Frolov has 11 points in 11 games, including six points in three games since the benching, so he’s a valuable performer for the Kings in their quest to make their first playoff appearance since 2002.
If Frolov starts struggling again and carries it into mid-season, or if the Kings are out of the playoff race by the March 3 trade deadline, he’ll probably be shopped. However, if he’s playing well and the Kings are in playoff contention he won’t be going anywhere.
• Speaking of the Canadiens, a report from CTV Montreal noted Edmonton Oilers scout Kevin Prendergast has taken in the Habs’ past three home games, leading to speculation of a possible deal between the two teams.
The report didn’t state which player Prendergast was watching, but it’s been assumed the Oilers would like to add more size up front. That would make their scouting of the Habs, who also lack size at forward, puzzling.
The Canadiens might be interested in one of Edmonton’s puck-moving defensemen, although their recent free agent signing of one-time Oiler Marc-Andre Bergeron appears to be addressing their need for a booming blueline slapshot on the power play.
Expect the “Kostitsyn brothers to Edmonton” rumors to start flying on the Internet very soon.
• Veteran NHL forward Brendan Shanahan isn’t ready to call it a career yet.
The New York Postreported Friday that Shanahan’s agent said his client was keeping in shape and had received interest from at least one NHL team.
The Boston Bruins apparently aren’t that team as the Boston Globereported Shanahan is not on their radar.
While Shanahan was linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this month, GM Brian Burke denied having contact with Shanny’s camp or having any interest in him.
It’s believed Shanahan would prefer to sign with a team close to New York City, as that’s where he and his family live.
• The Tampa Bay Lightning still have a logjam of defensemen under NHL contracts and are believed to be trying to move one of them via trade, the most likely being Lukas Krajicek.
The problem is, however, there isn’t much of a market for Krajicek right now. The Bolts might have to wait until mid-season when nearly half of his $1.475 million salary has been paid out.
The Ottawa Sunreported Sunday Lightning GM Brian Lawton might face the possibility of dumping salary due to declining revenue, suggesting we shouldn’t be surprised if Martin St-Louis and Ryan Malone start popping up in the rumor mill.
It seems like we heard this kind of thing a year ago, only then it was team captain Vincent Lecavalier who was the center of attention.
Just remember, those two have expensive contracts ($5.25 million per season for St-Louis through next season, $4.5 million per for Malone through 2015) and St-Louis has a no-trade clause and apparently no desire to leave Tampa Bay.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays and Thursdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.