As was likely expected, the Sunday night tweet from Allan Walsh – agent for Calgary Flames forward Michael Frolik – was the main topic of discussion at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday morning. While the club prepared to face the San Jose Sharks, head coach Bill Peters and Frolik both responded to Walsh’s comments.
Many people in Calgary have been reaching out asking why Michael Frolik is a healthy scratch. Keeping one of the teams most efficient and versatile forwards in the stands marginalizes and devalues a great team player. Head coach’s attempt to run a good player out of town?
— Allan Walsh (@walsha) December 30, 2018
For his part, Peters noted that he didn’t read the tweet and didn’t have much of a reply to the comments: “No response. Fro’s in the lineup, and he’s gonna play. He’s gonna play with Backs and Chucky.”
Peters added that when players return from a high ankle sprain, as Frolik has, it takes time for them to get back to where they were prior to the injury.
“When you miss that much time with that type of injury, it takes time,” said Peters. “It’s no different when guys come off an upper-body injury that are related above your shoulders, you don’t get the same guy back right away. It’s just not reality.”
Frolik also declined specific comment on the tweet, directing questions to Walsh and preferring to put the focus on the team’s impending game with the Sharks. When asked if the season so far was frustrating, he did provide a bit of insight into his mindset:
Obviously when you’re scratched a couple times and you don’t have that much ice time… I know my role was going to probably change when I come here for this year because of few new bodies here and I know the role was going to probably change a bit. I didn’t really expect it was going to change that much. Obviously it has been frustrating. Obviously you have the injury, too. Those things happens, but it sucks when you work hard in the summer and then you got off for a month and you can’t do much. It takes time I think to kind of get these few games to get the flow and get the game used to again. Hopefully I get a chance to do it tonight.
Frolik also clarified that his absence from Saturday’s game was not injury-related.
Peters noted that the team has tough decisions to make when swapping players in and out of their lineup – in Saturday’s case, the swap put Austin Czarnik in while taking Frolik out – and added that he wants players to be dissatisfied when they’re on the sidelines.
“Nobody’s happy when they’re not in,” said Peters. “And you don’t want them to be happy. If I’m scratching guys and they’re happy, I’d probably be disappointed as a coach in the character of the individual. That’s not the case with Fro. I expect Fro to be outstanding here tonight.”
The Flames host the Sharks on Monday night in their final game of 2018.