It would seem like the big name portion of the St. Louis Blues offseason is over, unless Doug Armstrong has one of his patented trades in the works. That doesn’t always mean that the later signings are unimportant.
One interesting move done was to sign Martin Frk. Most people likely have not heard of him, or know little about him, but it’s more than just a throw-away pickup.
St. Louis wasted little money. They get Frk for $750,000 and on a two-way contract, which basically just means they pay him less money if he stays in the minors.
So what’s the big deal? Most fans will ask who cares because he’s unlikely to play more than a handful of games, if any at all.
The big deal is that the guy scores. Give him a handful of games and he’ll find a way to score you some goals.
Based on his stats alone, he’s basically a taller Nathan Walker. Walker managed to score in just about every single call up he’s received from the Blues.
Don’t expect much different from Frk. He’s done it before.
Frk only had six NHL games in 2021-22, so it’s not as though he’s an impact player that will move the needle. He still scored two goals in that time. There are steady NHLers that don’t score a goal every third game.
In 2019-20, he had six goals and 8 points in 17 games with the Los Angeles Kings. That’s a point every other game.
He scored 11 goals and 25 points in 68 games with Detroit in his first real season with the Red Wings. That’s under a point every other game, but still impressive for limited duty.
What’s nice about a signing like this is it gives you more confidence in the team’s depth. Gone are the days where you barely felt comfortable giving five minutes to someone you called up from the AHL and all you asked them to do was not make a mistake.
Now, you can bring up guys like Walker or Frk, know they’ll work their tails off and also expect them to score. You’re not expecting more from them than any NHL fourth-line player, but you’re no longer expecting less.
That’s an important distinction. The more guys you have that you can throw on the ice in any situation, the better your franchise will be.
For all we know, Frk may never officially suit up for the Blues in a regular season game. He’s got a combined seven games the last two seasons, so obviously he hasn’t translated those goals into NHL playing time regularly.
But, if the Blues can depend on him for similar play and skill to someone like Walker, it gives them more players the opposition still has to watch for. That’s invaluable during the season, especially when the injuries pie up as they have lately.