MONTREAL, QC. — The NHL free agent frenzy is hours away and the Montreal Canadiens’ front office has been very quiet as it usually is ever since Marc Bergevin took over the reins. His main philosophy has been building from the inside through the draft and the Habs’ prospect pool is getting very solid.
Although the organization isn’t too fond of signing free agents, there are a few urgent gaps in the lineup that needs to be filled. Mainly, with the buyout of P.A. Parenteau, the second line right wing spot is up for grabs. Currently with the team, the right wingers are Brendan Gallagher, Dale Weise and Devante Smith-Pelly. There is obviously space for improvement and a forward must be added before the start of the season, in my opinion.
There are a few options for filling up that space. If we look from within, Sven Andrighetto would be the best top-6 option the Habs have in their system. With that said, I don’t think that Andrighetto is ready for that big of a jump just yet. So that leaves two options : trading block or free agency.
There is one particular right wing on the free agent market that I personally would target: Michael Frolik. A former first round pick, 10th overall, Frolik has played his last two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, putting up 42 points in each one of them.
The Kladno-native is listed at 6-foot-1, 200 lbs. and is known for a sound two-way game. He has put up 40 points or more in four of the seven seasons he has spent in the NHL, with the Florida Panthers, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Winnipeg Jets. Curiously, he has only struggled as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, failing to maintain his scoring pace with the powerhouse team. Also, last season with the Jets, Frolik has averaged 1:35 minute per game on the penalty kill and has scored three goals in those situations.
I would picture him on a second-line role with his fellow Czech teammate Tomas Plekanec. He definitely fits the style that the Canadiens are trying to play and would be a valuable addition to the Habs forward depth.
He even expressed interest in joining the Habs as reported by TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie :
Playing for the Canadiens would be on top of Michael Frolik list, I've learned. He aways loved MTL and spends his summers training here.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 29, 2015
The only problem in acquiring him is figuring out how to fit him within the cap. Frolik is rumoured to be asking for around $5 million a year, which is an understandable price for a 27-year-old. This is his one best chance to get a big contract.
If the Canadiens successfully sign Michael Frolik, they will have to look at a potential salary dump, with the club still negotiating with restricted free-agent Alex Galchenyuk.
Who should Marc Bergevin be targeting as a trade or free agent acquisition?
- Patrick Sharp (29%, 189 Votes)
- Antoine Vermette (17%, 112 Votes)
- Michael Frolik (16%, 101 Votes)
- Matt Beleskey (15%, 97 Votes)
- Justin Williams (10%, 63 Votes)
- Jiri Tlusty (7%, 47 Votes)
- Joel Ward (5%, 34 Votes)
Total Voters: 643