The Jets General Manager can be scrutinized for not being very aggressive. Kevin Cheveldayoff has not been one to make a blockbuster trade or sign a highly prized free agent, but sometimes it the little moves are the ones that count.
Michael Forlik was acquired by the Jets in a draft day trade. The move was not talked about much and seemed like a low risk low reward move. Frolik established a two way game with strong play on the Penalty Kill during his career. His defensive strength is what identified him coming in to the year. To many people’s surprise, Frolik showed off his offensive upside. He finished the year with 42 points (15 goals, 27 assists) in 81 games.
Though Frolik had a good year, one must think of his value in the coming years. Is Michael Frolik a top six-caliber player? Or is he just playing in a top six role until the Jets find a proven top six player to fill this role? I believe Folik is a player that can play on any line - one through four. His abilities defensively and offensively give the Jets great flexibility.
So how much is Frolik worth? Despite him playing on the number one line at times - with Bryan Little and Andrew Ladd - he does not deserve first line money. If we take that at face value, the question becomes: Should Michael Frolik be paid like a second line player or a third line player?
Let’s assume Frolik is a 45-50 point player in the coming years. That’s a pretty decent range point wise but nothing spectacular. So that’s a good starting point in negotiations but to top it off his strong defensive play will also factor in. So how much should Frolik expect to receive?
By The Numbers
Here are the salaries of some players who produced similar numbers to Michael Frolik:
Teddy Purcell (TB) 3 years 13.5 mil, 4.5 mil cap hit
- 42 points (12 goals, 30 assists) in 81 games
Justin Williams (LA) 4 years 14.6 mil, 3.6 mil cap hit
- 43 points (19 goals, 24 assists) in 82 games
Jason Chimera (WSH) 2 years, 4 mil, 2 mil cap hit
- 42 points (15 goals, 27 assists) in 82 games
Andrew Cogliano (ANA) 4 years, 12 mil, 3 mil cap hit
- 42 points ( 21 goals, 21 assists) in 82 games
Looking at these four players, Andrew Cogliano and Justin Williams are the middle ground. Age comparisons point to Andrew Cogliano’s contract as the near perfect contract to give to Michael Frolik. A 3 mil cap hit is exceptionally reasonable for a player like Frolik who can play wherever the coach plunks him. Anything beyond the 3 million dollar range is bordering on a overpay.
Yes, Frolik is a good player but the question must be asked: How big of a role would he have on a contender? It would likely be minimal. He was on a contender two years ago when he won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks. Though he provided some key play on the penalty kill, he was not much of a key player for the Hawks - he was a 4th liner.
The 3 million dollar range is perfect for Frolik. Anywhere upwards of 4 million gets kind of tricky. A player making around 4-4.5 million is usually an impact player. Not someone that hasn’t hit 50 points yet.
Frolik signs a 3 year 10 mil deal
The reason I see the Jets and Frolik agreeing on a three year deal is simply because it is hard to define his role over the long term. A four year deal might make the Jets would be uncomfortable. Frolik is that smaller piece to the puzzle. He is an important piece, but not vital. He is a great player to have on your roster, but a long term deal might be a bit of a stretch.
It’s great Frolik found his offensive game again, while in Chicago it seemed as though he was going to be a defensive specialist for the rest of his career. But while he found his offense, his offensive skills are limited. He isn’t a 50-60 point guy and he might never be. Three million dollars could end up looking like a lot of money if his offense disappears again.
The best thing about Michael Frolik is his versatility. Comparable players are hard to find as he can play all three positions. I’d be surprised if the speedy winger was not in a Jets uniform this fall. The question is how many more years will Michael Frolik be a Winnipeg Jet and at what cost?
What do you think Frolik will be paid and how long do you think he will sign for?