A few things to keep in mind about the Michael Frolik deal (in no particular order).
- Frolik gives the Blackhawks, potentially, a second line center. Frolik has been playing almost exclusively on the wing with the Panthers. He can play all three positions and Joel Quenneville loves versatility.
- This team desperately needs someone who can get the puck to Marian Hossa. Patrick Sharp is an able centerman, but he’s a shooter, not a passer. When Hossa was at his best this year, he was playing with Jonathan Toews, who can dish the puck.
- Frolik has great wheels. The Blackhawks need more pace to their game. The last two years, the Blackhawks had a speed advantage. That’s evaporated.
- Some NHL observers say Frolik plays with a little edge. Others will only go as far as saying he’ll finish his checks.
- The Blackhawks like his upside. Frolik, who turns 23 later this month, has already collected two 20-goal seasons. He’ll play with a group that’s far more skilled in Chicago.
- Jack Skille gets an opportunity in Florida he wasn’t going to get here. Skille says he considers himself a top six forward, but he never showed that type of finish or poise in the NHL or the minors. The Blackhawks loved his speed, but his ability to be a checker was in question.
- Assuming Hossa is healthy (Assistant General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said he left the Oilers game with an upper body injury that the team didn’t consider serious) Tomas Kopecky or Troy Brouwer would have to be moved out of the top six.