In the midst of a career year, Filip Hronek’s career with the Detroit Red Wings came to a sudden ending.
Looking back, the defenseman can readily admit that the news he was going to the Vancouver Canucks just prior to last season’s NHL trade deadline caught Hronek completely by surprise.
The call came out of the blue, from Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman.
The Vancouver Canucks have acquired defenceman Filip Hronek and a 2023 4th round pick from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for the the Islanders’ conditional 2023 1st round pick and a 2023 2nd round pick.#LGRW #Canucks pic.twitter.com/atBzMGABea
— Complete Hockey News (@CompleteHkyNews) March 1, 2023
“He said they changed me,” Hronek explained to Czech website isport.blesk.cz. “You don’t even know that business is baking. I had absolutely no signs that anything was going on. It all happened very quickly.
“I was surprised, but these things belong to hockey. It happened, it was meant to be. I thought there was no point in thinking about it again.”
Hronek Enjoying Best Season With Red Wings
At the time of the trade, Hronek was out with an upper-body injury. He can now reveal that it was in fact a shoulder injury. The ongoing issues with that ailment would limit him to four games for Vancouver the rest of the 2022-23 season.
Prior to the move, Hronek was enjoying a renaissance with the Red Wings. Certainly, his 2021-22 campaign was nothing to write home about. Even though he would collect a career-high 38 points, Hronek finished a minus-29.
But last season, he was clearly back in form. In just 60 games, he was able to equal that 38-point output while netting a career-best nine goals. And Hronek was turning around his plus-minus to a +8 rating.
“The fact is that I felt really good,” Hronek says of last season. “I had a great summer preparation a year ago, everything fit together.”
Detroit made Hronek the 53rd overall selection in the 2016 NHL entry draft. He was envisioning a long stay and growing along with the Red Wings during the team’s rebuild.
“I would really like to win,” Hronek said. “I was looking forward to it the whole time we were rebuilding in Detroit.
“It would be nice to stay at one club. On the other hand, I don’t mind looking elsewhere.”
Theories were put forth that it was money leading to the decision to part with Hronek. He’s entering the final year of his contract and will be a restricted free agent following the 2023-24 season. The Red Wings are in a similar situation with defenseman Moritz Seider and eventually, they are also going to have to pay 2021 first-round pick Simon Edvinsson.
Look who’s here!
Welcome, Filip Hronek! pic.twitter.com/YXb8S92EGe
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) March 21, 2023
Detroit would also utilize the 2023 first-round pick acquired in the Hronek deal to select Axel Sandin Pellikka, another offensively-skilled defender.
“The NHL is a business that doesn’t affect the player anyway,” Hronek said. “Maybe Detroit got such an offer also because it was good of me and it couldn’t be refused. One team will tell you at that moment that they want you badly, but then there is the one that was selling.”