Michael Frolik, Where Is This Going ?

Michael Frolik and Fan Unrest –

Lately, there has been a lot of unrest in Jetland.  Growing discontent from one segment, the “what has Chevy done” crowd and even the supporters “for patience” have been somewhat at a loss for what has transpired or more to the point what hasn’t.

Both sides were anxious to have the Frolik situation resolved and to a positive conclusion.  Virtually, all thought the only question was what would the dollar amount and terms be.  Four years or five, 3.75mil per or up to 4.25mil per? Unfortunately as we all know, we’re left with an uneasy and unsatisfying one year deal that can allow Frolik to leave as an UFA next July 1.

If an agreement had been brokered almost all fans would have been happy after all Frolik is a very good, very fluid, versatile player that you appreciate the more you watch him.  Winnipeg acquired Frolik from Chicago for 2013 third and fifth round draft picks.  A steal by adding a key player while not using a high pick or having to trade a key player.  Certainly, a way to speed up the draft and develop path and get better and to become a playoff team sooner.  The acquisition was exactly what was needed to advance the talent base and all successful teams need to be able to add in ways like this.  Scheifele and Trouba are the meat and potatoes, the base of the meal, Frolik was like free gravy.  Almost as good but costs you next to nothing and makes it all even better.

Frolik’s agent, Allan Walsh, has done what he should do as an agent trying to get the most and best deal for his client.  The deal Derrick Brassard got a couple days before basically became the comparable for Frolik.  Similar backgrounds for both players.  Their age, their production, their value, and that deal was five years at five million per.  If Chevy had offered or been willing to go to those numbers, Frolik would have signed a long term deal.  Walsh also knows that if he has to take his client to UFA status next July, they’ll get those type of numbers and also have the option of where to sign.  In my opinion, there will be multiple teams ready to commit to a contract for that amount, both dollars and years.

December 12, 2013-Jets-Avs-01

photo by Shawn Coates

Kevin Cheveldayoff has been able to secure his assets prior to this latest go around.  One of the positives, both sides of Jet fandom have agreed was a plus. Winnipeg is now faced with the real possibility of not retaining a wanted young core piece and that is concerning.  Being honest, it is a challenge for Winnipeg to add pieces to the team.  Whether or not it is prudent to use “Free Agency” to get better, it really isn’t Winnipeg’s decision for the most part.  Sure, we got a nice signing with Mathieu Perreault but most substantial players won’t chose Winnipeg as their future team and many players with trade restrictions also won’t select the Jets as an option.

This makes keeping young, mid-aged players a priority and certainly ones with upside and years in their favour.  The option appears to me to be prepared to pay what the Jets may feel is more than warranted or to trade him, likely at or near the deadline for future assets.

If Winnipeg decides to offer a contract that Frolik and Walsh feel acceptable, then we have to hope that the talk about wanting to be here and liking the city and direction is true.  Not just the anti Evander Kane public stance.  It could very well be that, but it also could be legitimate.  That sets the bar for future contracts and while Frolik is, in my opinion, a better player than his numbers show.  He isn’t an elite player and that may make future contracts a big challenge, one the Jets may not be so good with.

One more piece to this puzzle is that, I believe the market has and is changing for UFA’s at the trade deadline.  It used to be a feeding frenzy where even mediocre players got substantial returns.  To me it seems teams are now valuing their picks and young prospects more and that of course would not be a good thing if Winnipeg decided to, or was forced to, move Frolik this spring.

My hope is that Frolik and Walsh do want to get a deal done here and that Cheveldayoff increases the years and obviously the dollars will need to be there but maybe a 4.5 million for 6 years makes it palatable for all sides.  Much like I believe, we can’t lose a major trade, getting a couple mid-round picks for a player as valuable as Michael Frolik would indeed be a loss.  One we simply can’t afford to lose.

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  1. Mitch Kasprick says

    The Brassard deal was probably Walsh’s comparable but Cogliano was probably the Jets comparable.

  2. Rick Fritschy says

    It would be good to know if a deal was attempted during the year but Walsh , rightly so , declined. Walsh has done Frolik well if end dollars are the focus , and not saying they shouldn’t be.

    Big tipping point here fro Chevy , the way I see it is he’ll have to overpay ( from his point of view ) or receive a return that isn’t the same value as the player. As I mentioned I would try to balance the contract by offering a longer term 6 or more years if needed and try to keep the AAV to a level they are ok with . See if that is something Walsh will agree to., as I think it is very much Walsh driving the yes or no to the contract. My sense though is that Walsh is more than content to go to UFA unless he gets what he feels is the maximum , then they can avoid the slight risk for injury weakening their position.

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