Michael Frolik has heard it from others. At times, he saw it, too.
And now he’ll experience it first hand.
Frolik, who signed a multi-year contract at the onset of the opening of free agency Wednesday, is eager to become a part of what the Calgary Flames are building.
“It was pretty amazing what the team did last year,” Frolik told CalgaryFlames.com. “Hopefully they put those pieces together again so they can be better again. I think what I saw, what I heard, it’s a great city and it’s a great organization.
“I’m very excited to be a part of it right now.”
That excitement is paralleled in Calgary general manager Brad Treliving.
“We didn’t cast a big net,” Treliving said. “To me, if Michael wasn’t going to come our way, it wasn’t going down to Plan B and Plan C. This was a guy we focused on since Day One. We were good to get him, and one of the things he said was that he thinks this is a team that has a chance to do some things. This is a young group. Some of our best players are our youngest players, and that excited him.”
Frolik joins the Flames via free agency after two seasons with the Winnipeg Jets, finishing sixth in team scoring with 42 points. His 19 goals were fourth with Winnipeg.
In 512 career games with the Panthers, Chicago Blackhawks and Jets, Frolik has 95 goals and 235 points. Twice he’s hit the 21-goal plateau, and the 27-year-old has eclipsed the 40-point plateau four times, including both his seasons with the Jets.
He expects to bring that, and more, to Calgary.
“I think you can use me on the power play and you can use me on the PK, too,” said Frolik, who had three power play and three shorthanded goals in 2014-15. “I think that those things can be my game. I am a kind of player that can play both ways, can be first line, can be third line, can be second line. You can move me through the lineup, up and down. I think I’m a hard working guy and that’s what I’m looking to do in Calgary now.”
It’s what Treliving expects in signing Frolik, too.
“He’s like a Swiss Army Knife is probably the best way to describe him,” the GM said. “He’s able to bounce all over your lineup. To me he plays in the guts of the game. He’s a strong penalty killer, plays with a lot of pace. We’ve watched him closely this year and over the last few years, he’s sort of one of those unheralded guys that does a lot of heavy lifting and doesn’t necessarily receive all of the accolades.
“There might be prettier, fancier things at the dance but he’s just a guy who helps you win. I think he’s a guy if you look back at his career, there’s been a lot of responsibility put on him by coaches, he earns coaches trust.
“He’s probably not going to be a guy who’s going to score you 30 goals but he’s probably going to do a lot of the heavy lifting in a lot of the areas that aren’t so sexy that help you win games. On top of that he’s an excellent teammate. I think he’s going to fit with our group extremely well, a real good person, brings pace and energy and I think he’s going to fit in our locker room perfectly.”
He brings a Stanley Cup ring, too, joining Jiri Hudler as the only other member of the Flames to accomplish the feat.
Frolik’s title came as a member of the Blackhawks in 2013, recording three goals and 10 points in 23 games.
“It was definitely one of the best moments of my career,” he said. “You never forget this. You know what it takes to win and you know how it feels. You definitely want to have that feeling again. I’m pretty excited. I have a good feeling that Calgary can be that team again too, have that ability to go far in the playoffs.”
Frolik reportedly met with around 10 teams when the interview period for NHL free agents opened last Thursday.
He chose the Flames.
“I’m really excited about it,” Frolik said. “Calgary had a great year last year and they got a great young group of guys. It was sort of exciting for me. I know the city is pretty good, too. I have a family now so it mattered too in that.
“I’m really excited right now and I’m really happy to be a Calgary Flame.”