In a somewhat surprising turn, the Detroit Red Wings will not extend Martin Frk a qualifying offer this summer according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. Frk is scheduled to become a restricted free agent, but if he goes unqualified would find himself a UFA on the open market.
Frk is arbitration eligible this summer, meaning that if the team did issue a qualifying offer he could potentially take them to player-elected arbitration and try to get a higher salary. If the team isn’t willing to take that risk, not qualifying him doesn’t necessarily take them out of the running to re-sign him at some point. Still, the move likely means Frk will at least listen to other teams and see if he can find a better deal elsewhere. St. James suggests the Dallas Stars, where former Grand Rapids Griffins head coach Todd Nelson has been recently hired as an assistant coach. Nelson and Frk won a Calder Cup together in 2016-17.
There is one thing that Frk is most known for around the league—other than his interesting vowel-less last name of course—and that’s his shot. Armed with an incredibly hard one-timer, Frk has registered big goal totals in the minor leagues for several years and ended up with 11 during his first season in Detroit. He’ll turn 25 this October though, and at this point is a sort of one-dimensional scoring threat for the Red Wings. As the team looks to move forward with even younger, more dynamic players there may just be no room for Frk up front.