Heading into the offseason, it looked like a certainty that Michael Frolik would be finding some new digs this summer, whether it was with another club, in the minor leagues, or even in Europe. But as we head into September, Frolik is still here and it raises the question of whether or not he’ll be with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-2013.
Frolik’s struggles in 2011-12 weren’t entirely his fault. The former 20-goal scorer registered just 15 points on the season while trying to find some sort of consistent playing time and make his way out of the Joel Quenneville doghouse, which never actually happened.
In his two seasons with the Hawks, one of them being half of a season after he was acquired from the Florida Panthers, Frolik has not been the offensive player that they thought they were getting. After two seasons of 40+ points in Florida, and 29 in the season before he was traded, Frolik has totaled just 24 points in 93 games with the Hawks.
Much of that is due to his extremely low shooting percentage, which has been very poor in his time with the Hawks and
has sharply declined since he was in South Beach. In ’11-’12, that shooting percentage sat at just four percent. It’s a great mystery as to how he has managed to find the net at such a small rate with the Hawks.
But Frolik’s value goes beyond the offense. He’s very strong defensively, which is something that he doesn’t get nearly enough credit for when he’s expected to put 30 or 40 points on the stat sheet in a season.
He’s also a proven postseason performer, which he proved again when he got a shot against the Phoenix Coyotes this spring. He posted three points in four games, scoring two very big goals in games that allowed the Hawks to even get to overtime.
The question is whether or not there will be a place on this team for Frolik, especially with so many bodies currently occupying the bottom six. I certainly think he deserves a shot to prove himself with some consistent playing time and stay on a line where he can find some success. He may get training camp and the preseason to prove himself, but it’s certainly going to be a situation to watch heading into the rest of the offseason.