It was only a matter of time before the Chicago Blackhawks had one of their players head overseas during this NHL lockout, and though it wasn’t one of the bigger names on the team, the exodus may be about to begin.
Michael Frolik will become the first Hawks player to head over to Europe during the lockout. He’ll join up with HC Chomutov in the Czech Republic, and could make his debut with the club by next week. Frolik is, of course, a native of Czech Republic and has plenty of experience playing over there.
If there’s a player on this team that needed to get some gametime under his belt during this lockout, it was Frolik. He had a really bad year last year, statistically, finishing with just 15 points on the year. He found himself in the Joel Quenneville doghouse early and often in 2011-2012.
There had been speculation that Frolik could end up in the AHL or head back to Europe this season. Does that mean this could be a more permanent move for him? I doubt it. Frolik will likely get a crack at the lineup again after a solid postseason. It’s not as if he’s entirely useless, even if he’s not putting the puck in the net. He’s still a strong defensive forward for this team.
The European players are the ones likely to head over first during this lockout, as many of them already have connections over there that would allow them to catch on with a club quickly. Others, like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, look like they’ll be waiting to determine whether or not they’ll stick around or head off to Europe for some action during this miserable time.