Blackhawks Make Much Needed Move, Acquire Michael Frolik From Panthers

Yesterday rumors swirled the Chicago Blackhawks, as many were reporting that the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks might be discussing a major trade that would involve ‘Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook. However as the day unfold there was no Seabrook trade and many major hockey insiders dismissed any Seabrook talk as completely false.

Michael Frolik (Photree/Creative Commons)

However today, after a major trade between the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs, Stan Bowman finally pulled the trigger on a deal, one many of us in the Blackhawks community did not expect. Bowman and former Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon struck a deal that would send forward Jack Skille, minor league forward Hugh Jessiman and prospect David Pacan to Florida for forward Michael Frolik and the rights to Elitserien goaltender Alexander Salak.

My first impression of the trade was that it was a clear win for the Blackhawks as they acquire the most proven player, Frolik, of those involved in the deal and also acquire a solid goaltending prospect. Frolik has spent most of the season in the Panthers top nine this season, until a recent demotion, and his point production shows it as he was second on the Panthers in scoring with 29 points.

Although Frolik does give the ‘Hawks another offensive weapon for their top nine he does not appear to fill one of their glaring holes as a solid faceoff winning center. Even though Frolik is listed as a center on most media sites he has only taken 12 draws this season and has only won five of them. With the small sample size it is difficult to determine if Frolik can be effective in the faceoff dot but I wouldn’t be surprised if he does start off centering the ‘Hawks second line.

But I also don’t think Florida is getting completely robbed in this game as they do get Skille who might be able to thrive in a change of scenery ¬†and also get a solid prospect in David Pacan. Skille, who was drafted by Tallon, only 23 years old and still needs time to develop as he is only in his first full NHL season.

At times Skille has shown that he can be an offensive threat as he has netted 17 points playing mainly fourth line minutes. Skille has a ton of speed and the size to play at the NHL level but he need to improve his hockey awareness and overall hockey IQ.

This deal by the Blackhawks could just be the start of things as the Blackhawks are still in the market for at least a depth defenseman and possibly another bottom six forward. Frolik is a start and if he can continue his growth he could be another player we see in a Blackhawks sweater for the rest of this season and beyond.


  • Michael Wagner

    I know the Blackhawks are hoping Frolik can play center but I am personally skeptical of that as in his three years in the league he has been terrible at the faceoff dot. My guess is that he will center the 2nd line between Marian Hossa and Troy Brouwer.

  • Karl Selvig

    I’ll be interested to see how Frolik does in CHI. He’s mainly played right wing for us (FLA), and as far as I can tell, the ‘hawks top 3 RW are kind of set. He doesn’t bring any semblance of physicality, so a 3rd\4th line grinders role doesn’t suit him. Maybe a change of scenery will help him (he hasn’t scored since Dec 17th and only has 8 this year), but as a Panther fan, I’m not stressing about letting him go. Tallon likes his big bodies, and it looks like at least 2 NHL caliber big forwards are coming back.

    • Bruce Hollingdrake

      Morning Karl – Andrew Roger was just on CBC National news and suggested FLA might be a candidate for a move to Quebec City….Hope you’ll come visit!!

      • Karl Selvig

        lol, never gonna happen. Ownership makes too much money here.