The Montreal Canadiens have signed forward Michael Frolik to a one-year contract worth $750,000, the team announced Wednesday. The 32-year-old is now set to join his third team in two seasons after being traded to the Buffalo Sabres from the Calgary Flames last season.
The veteran winger has played in 12 NHL seasons over his career with the Florida Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg Jets, the Flames and Sabres. He’s now set to spend season 13 with the Canadiens on a league-minimum contract.
Frolik would score six goals and 14 points in 57 games last season in what would prove to be his worst statistical season since the 2012-13 season. Prior to last season, though, Frolik would score double-digit goals every season for six seasons, including five years of 15-plus goals in that stretch.
For the Canadiens, acquiring Frolik on such a low-risk deal really provides zero downside for a team looking to prove that their success in the 2020 playoffs wasn’t a fluke. Depth scoring never hurts and the Canadiens are getting an established winger who has consistently scored throughout his career.
As mentioned, the Sabres would acquire Frolik last season for a fourth-round pick. The deal may not have worked out for the Sabres or for Frolik, but it’s possible a change of scenery could help Frolik return to form during the 2020-21 season.
He doesn’t need to come in and be a star for the team, and given the minimal price the team paid, a double-digit scoring season would be a win for the Canadiens.
Interestingly enough, the 2020 fourth-round pick sent from the Sabres to the Flames in exchange for Frolik came from Montreal, who had previously acquired the pick from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick. The Canadiens had previously traded that pick to the Sabres in the deal that landed them Marco Scandella.
Canadiens Busy Offseason Continues
For the Canadiens, this offseason has proven to be a very busy one. The team would trade Max Domi to the Columbus Blue Jackets to acquire winger Josh Anderson to ideally add scoring and grit to their top-six. They’d also bring in winger Tyler Toffoli to also add another look to their offense.
Outside of the forward position, the Canadiens would trade a fifth-round pick for the rights to Joel Edmundson before signing him to a four-year, $14 million contract. They’d also bolster their goaltending by trading for Jake Allen and subsequently extending him to a two-year contract worth $5.75 million.
Add in the addition of Frolik and the draft class the Canadiens are bringing into their organization and it’s clear that the status-quo wasn’t an option for Marc Bergevin and the Canadiens this season.
While some teams have remained relatively quiet on the free agency and trade-fronts this offseason, the Canadiens have been at the forefront of the discussion since their season ended and are looking to prove to fans that this is a team they can feel proud to cheer for each and every night.
There’s evidently going to be some assumed risk in making so many moves in one offseason, but the Canadiens were primed to miss the playoffs last year before the season was paused and the postseason was expanded. That simply isn’t an option for the Canadiens this season who have now proven they’re capable of playing to a better standard than they did for much of last season.