Frolik was certainly not a name we had heard that was a possibility as an acquisition. He didn't seem to fit the criteria of what the Hawks said they were looking for. He wasn't big, he's wasn't known to be physical, and he wasn't a center. Then they said he was a center. Then he said he wasn't. Then they played him at center. Then that didn't work. Then he moved back to wing. That kind of worked. Then Dave Bolland showed up. That really worked. But it was only for four games. So do we have any idea what we have here? Kinda. Maybe. What we do know, we think, maybe, is that we should find out more. So that there can be no doubt. Maybe.
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Well, if nothing else he certainly adds to The Handsome Brigade on the Hawks.
Contract Status: Restricted Free-Agent, not arbitration eligible, requiring a qualifying offer of 803K
Positives: A few, to be sure. Frolik was never short on confidence (also a problem), and displayed a pretty nifty pair of hands. Good skater as well, and his hockey IQ, at least in the defensive area, was pretty above standard as well. Never shrunk from the scene in the playoffs, even as he was getting ragdolled left and right by the Canucks defense. The chemistry he immediately struck up with Dave Bolland has a lot of us pretty excited, but we'll try and keep in mind it was only four games. Even if they start next year together, how long before Q breaks them up?
Negatives: Well, it didn't help that for a majority of his time here so far he's been bounced all over the lineup, at both wing positions and at center -- which he isn't cut out for at this point in his career. But Fro also had some warts. His season-long scoring drought (part of which can be attributed to just the bad luck of his shooting % dropping from 10% his first two years in Florida down to 4% this year) clearly caused him to press, as he could be counted on to shoot from anywhere at anytime, often weakly, sending his percentage even more down the toilet. Couldn't win a draw, and sometimes was just physically over-matched in the middle. And oh yeah, the repeated times he went "Splat" after a hit.
Defining Moment: Only one contender here:
Outlook: It's pretty simple, you don't really give up on 23-year old forwards who already have two 20-goal seasons to their name. And unless his contract demands get utterly silly, it's unlikely the Hawks will. Again, we only have the smallest of sample sizes, but Frolik looks like he could find a real home on a 3rd line the way the Hawks like to have a 3rd line: defensively responsible but able to threaten as well. It's where Martin Havlat and Kris Versteeg found homes the previous two seasons. That's not to say Frolik has that type of game, he could just ply his game from that role. And as long as he's kept at a wing, only filling in at center in an injury crisis, I think we'll see Frolik really produce.
Grade: B-. The expectations were that he would be better than Jack Skille, and he was. The more hopeful of us thought he could be a real weapon when he got to a winning team, but that never really materialized. Only three goals in 28 games, and a further two in the playoffs, that's not enough. Whether he was snakebit, or pressing, or reverting to true form, we'll have to find out next year. But it's my sincere hope that we'll find out while he's still wearing our colors.