Montreal Canadiens: Michael Frolik Finally Going to Make Habs Debut

Montreal Canadiens winger Michael Frolik has been forced to be patient this season.

The veteran winger signed a one-year contract with the Canadiens on the eve of training camp, looking to add depth to their roster.

Fortunately for the team, but unfortunately for Frolik, the team’s forwards have been exceptionally healthy this season. This is obviously a great thing for the organization and its players, but it’s probably not what Frolik expected.

The Canadiens are now 31 games into their regular season and the only forwards to miss time were a handful of games by Joel Armia early in the season, three games by Josh Anderson a few weeks later and Tyler Toffoli missed the Habs last game before their current unscheduled Covid break.

Due to the minimal injuries, and the fact none of them overlapped, the Canadiens have only used 13 forwards so far this season. That’s remarkably fortunate when it comes to the injury bug.

However, that has all changed. Toffoli missed practice last night meaning he is still out and will miss tonight’s game with the Edmonton Oilers. Joel Armia is still on the Covid Protocol list meaning he is ineligible to go anywhere near the Bell Centre this evening. Newcomer Eric Staal is also under strict quarantine guidelines so he can’t play yet.

That means, finally, in Game 32 of the season, Michael Frolik is finally going to make his Canadiens debut.

The 33 year old is a veteran of 850 NHL games so it goes without saying he has never sat on a taxi squad for two months before. Frolik has always been a terrific defensive winger and has had some solid offensive seasons as well.

The Czech Republic native was a consistent 40 point scorer before last season when he put up 14 points in 57 games while playing a depth role for the Calgary Flames and then Buffalo Sabres who picked him up at the trade deadline.

The Buffalo Sabres were buyers at the 2020 trade deadline? That can’t be true. Is it?

Anyway, Frolik looks like he will finally get into the Canadiens lineup. He will face the Edmonton Oilers who he is well aware of after playing most of the past five seasons with the Flames. In fact, Frolik typically played on a second line with Mikael Backlund and was tasked with shutting down Connor McDavid when the Flames and Oilers went to battle.

I don’t imagine Frolik will be going head to head with McDavid tonight after being a healthy scratch for 31 games, but he is a quality NHL veteran and his addition into the lineup taking this long shows how much depth this Canadiens team has this season.

They are going to need to use that depth down the stretch as they play 25 games in the next 43 days. After a long wait, Frolik will now get his chance to show the team can depend on him when a regular forward needs a night off during the upcoming gruelling schedule.