“I believe the team took Corey Perry and me to benefit from our experience,” said Frolík to start the interview. “It’s not ideal, but I expect my time with the team will be difficult at the start. Even when I signed with the Canadiens at the end of December, I saw that they had a very busy roster, plus, it’s quite a problem with money.”
As the Canadiens are up towards the salary cap ceiling Michael Frolík finds himself on the taxi squad.
“The management wanted to use all the money this season, so there is not much space. That’s why a few of us are on the taxi squad. We are normally part of the team, we train, we go to the games, but we are not on the roster. Even if someone gets hurt, there is no guarantee that they will put me on the roster, because of the salary cap. It’s confusing, it’s quite a mess, which player they have to send up, or down. We’ll see.”
Former Canadian star Corey Perry, a 35-year-old Stanley Cup winner, two-time Olympic champion and world champion, is in a similar situation.
“He has a big name, so he got a chance in front of me, he was promoted once. We’ll see how it goes. The bosses of the club knew that the program would be tough, injuries could come, that’s why they tried to bring experienced players who have something behind them and are able to jump into the team right away. I believe that Corey and I are fulfilling this role. I’m wearing it, the only thing I can influence is to be ready when the chance comes.“
Was Montreal your first choice?
“When the market for free players opened in October, I must admit that it was not that hot. Just a little tapping. The second wave of signatures did not begin until it was clear when the NHL would start. In December, the first concrete offer came from Montreal. We took it right away. It is though to speculate if we could have waited. At that time, the agent and I agreed that if I gave this up, nothing else may come. It happened quickly. I still had the opportunity to go somewhere for a try out, but honestly, I didn’t really want that. Montreal also attracted me because of history. I thought I would fight for a spot.“
Did the history of the Canadiens speak to you?
“Yes. I know the city well, during my career I used to come here to train during the summer. I thought a few times that it would be nice to play here sometimes. I’ve always liked Canadiens jerseys. Now I just need to dress up in it sometimes.” (Smiles)
How do you deal with a difficult situation due to COVID-19?
“We are used to it, we are tested every day. Just the individual provinces have it a little differently. Some tests are done from the throat, others from the nose. Someone does it sensitively, someone narrows the sticks very deep there. I have had one bad experience, when my tears flowed for another five minutes. Otherwise it can be endured, it is already part of the daily routine. We go for tests every day before breakfast.”
Didn’t last year take away your appetite for hockey?
“It wasn’t pleasant last season, I was annoyed with hockey, but now I have a great taste.”