NEWARK - An hour after bidding adieu to Dave Bolland, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal less than a week ago, the Chicago Blackhawks have also parted ways with Michael Frolik, shipping the winger off to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for the 74th and 134th picks overall.
Frolik gave the Blackhawks 10 points in 45 regular-season games last year and another 10 points in 23 playoff games, but his biggest contributions didn't come on the scoresheet: the winger transitioned into a major component on the penalty kill this year, and in the playoffs, he and Marcus Kruger were an invaluable duo with Chicago down a man.
But Frolik isn't paid like a PK specialist and that's not what he was supposed to be when he signed a three-year deal worth $7 million. By moving him, the Blackhawks free up $2.3 million in cap space for next year.
As for the Jets, they have space, and they also have a serious need to improve their penalty killing, which was south of 80% last year and 24th in the league. Frolik may be able to help with this, and who's to say that he won't refind his offensive game in a contract year?
It makes sense for both sides. Still, it's weird to see the Blackhawks jettisoning guys that were celebrating a Cup win with them two days ago. It's like 2010 all over again.
That in mind, it's appropriate that Frolik will now be joining Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien in Winnipeg.