With Andrew Brunette down, Michael Frolik gets another shot
By Ben Meyer-Abbott email@example.com February 3, 2012 11:12PM
The Flames’ Scott Hannan checks Jonathan Toews into the boards during the first period Friday in Calgary. | Mike Ridewood~Getty Images
Updated: March 5, 2012 8:09AM
CALGARY, Alberta — Andrew Brunette missed Friday’s game with an undisclosed upper-body injury.
Brunette played only 2:30 in the first period of the Blackhawks’ embarrassing 8-4 loss to the
Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
General manager Stan Bowman said that there isn’t a timeframe for his return and that the Hawks will have a better idea when they determine the extent of the injury.
“We’re going to get a better evaluation when we get home,” Bowman said. “We’ll certainly have a better idea before the game in Denver. I don’t know at this point if it’s long term.”
“I talked to him about it, and [there wasn’t] a defining blow,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “It might have been back-to-back games [being] something to it.”
Michael Frolik took Brunette’s spot on the fourth line.
Frolik called it “a wake-up call” after he was passed on the depth sheet by rookies Jimmy Hayes and Ben Smith in the final game before the All-Star break.
But after his second healthy scratch in three games against the Oilers, the alarm bells are ringing.
“For sure, it’s a kind of wake-up call,” Frolik said. “I just want to come back and be ready and prove to them that it was maybe a bad decision or something like that and prove to them I can play.”
Frolik signed a three-year,
$7 million contract in the offseason.
“We need his game where his contribution and attributes play hand-in-hand with what he’s capable of doing,” Quenneville said recently.
If Bowman had a problem with some of his players congratulating Edmonton’s Sam Gagner on his eight-point game, he wasn’t saying.
“I don’t really want to get into that,” Bowman said. “There’s a lot of stuff that happens on the ice, and I’m not going to comment on that.”
Gagner told reporters after the game that a couple of the Hawks players congratulated him on the ice and remarked on how incredible the accomplishment was.
“Obviously, it’s tough to do that when you’re losing the game, but it feels good to get that respect from other players in the league,” Gagner said.