What Will The Blackhawks Do With Michael Frolik?

By Randy Holt

The 2011-2012 season wasn’t an ideal season for anyone in the Chicago Blackhawks organization, but it was an especially rough one for Michael Frolik.

Frolik was acquired at the trade deadline during the 2010-2011 season, in a deal that looked like a steal at the time. The Hawks also acquired Alexander Salak in the deal, while surrendering just Jack Skille and minor league players. It’s a deal that now looks more like a wash than anything.

Frolik played very well in his brief time during that season, particularly during the playoffs. His play against the Vancouver Canucks, though the Hawks lost that series, earned him a new three-year deal last summer.

But on a Blackhawks roster that was packed with disappointment, Frolik was near the top of the charts. Not all of that was completely his fault, though.

Frolik got off to a slow start this season, with just six points in the first month. As his point totals stayed down, his playing time started to dwindle. It got to the point where he began serving as a healthy scratch more often than not, with the likes of Brandon Bollig taking a spot in the lineup over Frolik.

Playing sparingly, Frolik was never really able to put his game together during the season, which is unfortunate since his game goes beyond the point totals. He’s proven to be reliable as a defensive forward, even if he’s not putting the puck in the net with the regularity that we thought he might.

As the regular season came to a close, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Frolik had played his last game with the Indian Head on his sweater. But once again, he turned it on in the postseason. Frolik posted three points in four postseason games, two of which were crucial goals that at least helped to force overtime against the Phoenix Coyotes, even if the Hawks weren’t able to pull it out.

But Frolik proved that when given the opportunity, he has that game that earned him a new contract. Now it’s just a matter of what the Hawks plan to do with him this summer: keep or trade?

Given his solid performance towards the end of the playoffs, and the fact that he’s set to earn over $2 million for two more years, despite coming with limited offense, it looks like the Hawks are going to be hanging onto Frolik. That’s unless another club tries to come along and pull the whole “change of scenery” thing and take him off the Hawks’ hands.

Holding onto Frolik isn’t the worst thing, though. As long as Joel Quenneville doesn’t play his absurd mind games with Frolik and he gets consistent playing time, he should be able to provide a steady presence in the Blackhawks lineup, even if he’s not putting up the big point totals we were all hoping for.

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