Detroit — Martin Frk remembers how he felt recently when the Red Wings coaching staff told him he’d made the opening night roster.
“I couldn’t breathe and talk,” said Frk, a hard-shooting winger who was one of the surprises of the exhibition season. “It’s definitely very special and I want to enjoy every minute here.”
When analysts were comprising and speculating on how the Red Wings’ roster would look, there weren’t a lot of people believing Frk was going to find a spot.
At 24, Frk re-signed with the organization after giving some consideration to heading back to Europe to play professionally.
All Frk wanted was a chance. And Ryan Martin, the Red Wings assistant general manager who was handling negotiations with Frk, asked coach Jeff Blashill if Blashill would give him a look.
“I said I’d give him a real look, for sure,” Blashill said. “He (Frk) was debating whether or not to go to Europe, or give it one more shot. What’s a real look? Playing with real players in training camp and trying to get him matched up against NHL lines, and things like that (in the preseason).
“He did a good job.”
A 2012 second-round draft pick of the Red Wings, Frk was waived a year ago this week and was claimed by Carolina.
After playing two games with the Hurricanes, Frk was waived again and re-claimed by the Red Wings.
Frk has always had one of the hardest shots in any league, but in this camp he’s shown a more varied game.
“He has to be able to play 5-on-5; he can’t just play on the power play,” Blashill said. “What he’s done is done a good job of calming his game now and putting himself in position to be an effective 5-on-5 player.”
Frk said he came into camp with a can-do spirit.
“I said to my agent and my girlfriend, I’m just going to try and I’m going to give everything I can,” Frk said. “If it works, perfect. If not, then I’ll have to just try to work my way up here.
“I’m excited. It was always my dream when the Red Wings drafted me (to play opening night). I enjoyed it in Carolina, but this is special because this is the team that drafted me. I spent a lot of years here and in Grand Rapids and now I have the chance to be here with the jersey on. I can’t wait.”
Trevor Daley attended the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup ring ceremony Monday evening.
Daley was a key defenseman on the two-time championship team before signing as a free agent July 1 with the Red Wings.
“It was fun to go back and see all the boys again,” Daley said. “Whenever you’re part of a team that did what we did the past two years, it’s pretty special. It was definitely a great ceremony, they put on a great show.
“With the salary cap era, teams can’t go out and spend for guys. You have to build within. We managed to get it done and it shows what type of team that was.”
Niklas Kronwall (groin) skated on his own Tuesday but didn’t practice. Blashill wouldn’t rule Kronwall out for Thursday’s regular-season opener against Minnesota.
“We’ll make a decision (Wednesday) after practice,” Blashill said. “We’ll see how he feels. He had a good skate on his own.”
… Blashill isn’t concerned about how the Little Caesars Arena ice will be like Thursday after two concerts and two basketball events the past four days before the hockey game. “That’s just part of being in a multi-use facility. The ice was very good the last two exhibition games,” Blashill said. “I know Al Sobotka (operations manager) made some changes to the approach and the ice was very good.”