While other Blackhawks prefer to wait and see how negotiations progress before signing overseas, winger Michael Frolik has reached a decision.
Frolik became the first Hawk to sign in Europe during the lockout, opting to join Chomutov of the Czech Extraliga League. His first game is scheduled for Tuesday.
Frolik, 24, joins a growing list of NHLers who have signed overseas because of the work stoppage. The majority of players have been of European descent. Frolik is from Kladno in the Czech Republic, which is about an hour away from Chomutov.
Frolik, who had five goals and 15 points in 63 games last season, has two years remaining on a three-year deal with the Hawks. He’s set to make $2.1 million in 2012-13.
Winger Viktor Stalberg, a Swede, is another Hawk, who is seriously considering playing in Europe. Stalberg told Swedish media that Frolunda HC in the Swedish Elite League would be his first choice.
Sweden’s Competition Authority ruled Friday that Swedish Elite League’s decision to ban NHL players from playing unless they agree to a full-season contract was illegal. The league has appealed, though.
Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson recently left Chicago and returned home to Sweden, as well.