A few thoughts on Frolik
This is not an "official" position on behalf of LBC (there is none), only my own personal observations:
GM Dale Tallon kicked off the Panthers' trade deadline action with a bold transaction that reaches far beyond the names involved.
Yes, Michael Frolik is a very nice kid whose talent should be an NHL mainstay for the next decade or more. Two straight 21-goal seasons to begin his career may speak volumes about what is yet to come. And I challenge anyone to find a single negative comment about his charm or enthusiasm for the game.
Conversely, he simply wasn't bringing it this year. How best to describe his play in 2010-11? The word "invisible" comes to mind rather embarrassingly easily; way too many nights I'd find a game entering the third period and realize I'd never noticed him. His current point streak totals 3 in as many matches - all assists - as the Cats went 1-2. Streaks are swell and all, but only if they don't mirror the one he just broke: twelve games without a point. Worse, his last goal came on December 17th in a 6-2 sloshing of Buffalo. BTW...December was his best month of the season: 4 goals in thirteen games.
As it stands, Frolik is on pace for about 15 goals. Ice time might be a little harder to find in Chicago, where Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, and Troy Brouwer are not likely to see a decrease in their TOI numbers as the Blackhawks' top three on right wing. Just a guess.
He just isn't a "Tallon" guy: at 6-1, 200lbs he simply lacks the inherent size demanded, and never has Frolik shown a capacity to play on the edge or become a physical force. He's got very good speed and skilled hands, but little else.
In return, Jack Skille boasts a similar height and weight, but Dale drafted him for his own reasons in '05 (7th overall); we'll see what he had in mind soon enough.
I wish Michael the best of luck, high hopes for him getting on track, and many thanks for his contributions to Florida over the past two-plus years.
Perhaps most importantly, this deal sends a brutal wakeup call to the kids fighting for appearances with the big club: past performances and positive scouting reports are guarantees for nothing with this organization.