Chicago Blackhawks: Stan Bowman’s 7 Worst Trades as GM
By Ryan Fedrau
3. Michael Frolik (2013)
Right after helping the Blackhawks win their second Stanley Cup in four seasons, Michael Frolik was traded for nothing. Frolik was another cheap depth player. He wasn’t an offensive juggernaut, but he made up with it for his grinder role on the Blackhawks roster.
Frolik was great on the penalty kill and did a lot of quiet things for the team. As a career bottom-six player, he wasn’t going to score an awful lot, to begin with. In 136 games as a Blackhawk, Frolik scored 11 goals and had 23 assists for 34 points. Since then, he has found great success with the Flames and Panthers.
When traded, Frolik was worth $2,333,333 AAV. He easily fits in the Blackhawks salary cap. They’ve always had a salary crunch with Bowman, but he brought a lot of it on himself. He would trade away players that would fit, for guys that were rentals.
Frolik still had one year left on his deal before being traded. The next contract he would sign was worth $3,300,000 AAV. It’s something the Blackhawks could have afforded. Still, Bowman made a tough decision to send him to the Jets.
He found a lot of success as a Jet. In 163 games there, he scored 34 times and had 50 assists for 84 points.
Those two draft picks were used for John Hayden and Luke Johnson. Neither one of those players ended up making a huge impact on the Blackhawks. Hayden made it to the NHL with the Blackhawks, where Johnson didn’t.
In that draft, the Blackhawks missed out on Jake Guentzel. They picked Hayden over him. That was another draft where the Blackhawks missed a solid prospect, who would have changed a lot for the Blackhawks.
If Bowman was a little bit smarter, the Blackhawks would have won more than three Stanley Cups. They were robbed by bad traded and poor drafting.
Was It Worth It?
For who they ended up drafting, no, it wasn’t. Frolik did find great success outside of Chicago. He is another player that wasn’t used to his full potential in Chicago. That happens to a lot of young players.
As Stanley Cup Contenders each season, Bowman would ship off players that weren’t at an elite level right away. The Frolik traded ended up making no sense. Again, if they would have drafted Guentzel, it would be a different story.