Pittsburgh Penguins Will Target Michael Frolik When Free Agency Opens


According to Josh Yohe of DkonPittsburghsports.com, the Pittsburgh Penguins top free agent target this Wednesday will be Michael Frolik of the Winnipeg Jets. Frolik was a pivotal member of the Blackhawks during their cup run in 2013, but hasn’t been able to find a long-term home as he will likely be signing with his fourth NHL franchise since joining the league in 2008.

More from Penguins News

Frolik would be a great addition to the Pens top-six. With a big frame and a lot of speed, he could be very effective if in fact he decides to sign with the Pens. He’s a smart player that avoids the nonsense and won’t put your team in a tough shorthanded situation, which is evidenced by his mere 18 penalty minutes last season. He is also known for being a great two-way player and cleans up both ends of the ice.

Frolik had back to back 42 point seasons with the Jets playing primarily on a line with Mark Scheifele and Andrew Ladd. He potted 19 goals and seems ready to step into the void currently available in the Pittsburgh Penguins top-six.

He has a wicked wrist shot that can catch goalies off guard and is pretty effective when stationed in front of the goalkeeper. He has never had a center like Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, and with his style of play, it’s likely he’d see a nice boost in production playing alongside those all-world talents.

If the Pittsburgh Penguins sign Frolik, he could easily be a main stay on the 2nd line with Evgeni Malkin. Despite his reputation for his two-way game, he can also find soft spots in the offensive zone and unleash a very good shot, which is something Malkin has been missing since the departure of James Neal. His special teams play could help the Pens as he notched 3 goals on the second Power Play unit and also tallied 3 shorthanded goals. Brandon Sutter seems like the only person that can score a shorthanded goal on this team. If Sutter is still in Pittsburgh next season, a top PK unit of Sutter and Frolik could be lethal.

The only problem the Pens could run into while trying to sign Frolik is money. This years free agency pool is not very deep at the forward position and that makes Frolik a hot commodity around the league.

Frolik usually would not gain as much interest in the free agency market if there were more quality forwards and he is aiming to make that his advantage. There are rumors that Frolik has turned down an offer from the Jets that would pay him $4.5 million annually. If that’s the case, you’re likely looking at an asking price of $5 to $5.5 million per year which is steep for a player of his caliber.

Though it’s probably an intriguing option to play with Sid or Geno, someone could offer him a four-year deal in the range of $20 million and money talks in free agency. The Pens simply can’t top that kind of money in their current situation when you consider that he may be a third liner within the next two years as Kasperi Kapanen develops.

There has already been reports of multiple top-six wingers the Pens are after via trade. If they do not land one of those targets before free agency starts Wednesday, look for them to make a run for Frolik’s services. Frolik would be good here, let’s just hope they don’t get caught up in the moment and overpay.

Next: Meet Daniel Sprong - The 46th Overall Selection for the Pens

More from Pens Labyrinth