LA Kings: “A Long, Long Road Back” for Martin Frk

LA Kings (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

On Thursday, the LA Kings received some good news when Martin Frk participated in a regular jersey. Still, there remains work ahead for the right-winger.

The LA Kings have certainly enjoyed contributions across the board this season. From emerging talent such as Trevor Moore and Jaret Anderson-Dolan to veterans Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, the LA Kings haven’t had a shortage of overall production. Sure, we witnessed some games — and streaks — where the silver-and-black couldn’t get much going offensively but overall, it’s been a very decent showing by the club thus far.

However, one player who has been missed is Martin Frk.

Known for possessing one of the hardest shots in hockey, Frk came off a successful 2019-20 campaign in the AHL where he scored 23 goals and 13 assists in 37 games — just a hair shy of being a point-per-game player. The Czech’s efforts were noteworthy enough to get a look in Los Angeles. In 17 games with the LA Kings, Frk scored six goals and added a pair of assists.

Those numbers, coupled with his 109.2 mph shot last January, Frk generated plenty of excitement entering this season. Unfortunately, a recurring groin injury has kept the 27-year-old away, limiting him to just one game this season.

On Thursday, the LA Kings received some good news as Frk participated in practice without a non-contact jersey. Of course, while this news may be promising for both the team and the individual, LA Kings head coach Todd McLellan acknowledged that there is still a long way to go before we see Frk make his return to the lineup.

McLellan spoke with the media about this following Thursday’s practice.

“Yeah, he skated in a regular jersey,” the head coach said. “You know, he’s not playing in either of the two games this weekend. I can tell you that. He needs a lot of practice time. It’s been a long, long road back for him and I give him credit for working hard — I think I mentioned that the other day on our call — but with that being said, he needs some practice time, and even getting that right now is hard because of all the games we play. We’re so short when it comes to actual practice that he’s going to have to work hard to get himself back to where he needs to be.”

Last January, Martin Frk caught the attention of the hockey world when he broke the professional hockey record for the hardest shot.

During the AHL All-Star Classic weekend in Ontario, Frk dazzled his home fans — and everyone else — by recording a blistering shot that was clocked at 109.2 mph. This broke pro hockey’s previous record set by then-Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara of 108.8, set in 2012.

There is definitely no shortage of depth on the LA Kings roster these days, so once Frk does return, the club will find themselves in an unenviable — or enviable depending on who you ask — situation, deciding who to take out of the lineup in order to insert the former Detroit Red Wing.

As Todd McLellan noted, Martin Frk will not be in the lineup this weekend for the LA Kings but Thursday’s elimination of the non-contact jersey poses as a positive sign as the silver-and-black are hoping to have Frk’s services sooner rather than later.