After making his NHL debut on Feb. 29, Brandon Bollig would average just under six minutes per game in 18 games. He didn't record a single point during the regular season, finishing minus-2 while delivering 27 hits and racking up 58 penalty minutes. He played in four of the six games vs. the Coyotes where he scored his first goal in Game 2. He was credited with five hits in the series and was tagged with 19 penalty minutes.
Boden's take: The Blackhawks got an overall upgrade when John Scott was dealt to the New York Rangers for a fifth-round draft pick at the trade deadline. Bollig may not have put the same fear factor into the opposition's thoughts for taking liberties with the Hawks' stars, but he got into more fights than Scott would have, as a result. And boy was the St. Louis native willing, getting into five fights in his first seven games. He was a better skater than Scott, and even had a handful of scoring chances, too. He finally collected his first NHL point with his goal in Game 2 of the Phoenix playoff series.
Myers' take: When the Blackhawks bid adieu to Scott, Bollig became the natural call-up. While Bollig isnt quite as big as Scott (then again, who is), he filled that role just fine. He was a solid skater, scored a goal, and, yeah he fought. A lot. And while Bollig was always the pugilist with a smile on his face, he put some serious hurts on a few opponents. His role obviously diminished as the postseason went on fighting just wasnt a big part of the playoffs outside of that Pittsburgh-Philadelphia series but Bollig gave the Blackhawks the big, bruising player who wasnt afraid to tussle.
Boden: The Hawks signed him as an undrafted free agent two years ago, and he enters this offseason as a restricted free agent. He would be a good investment on a two-way contract to have in reserve at Rockford if he doesn't find a one-way deal anywhere. But if Mayers, Andrew Shaw and Daniel Carcillo are on this club, and especially if a nasty, sizeable defenseman is acquired, one wonders where it would leave Bollig in the numbers game here for what he offers. As constituted now, the roster competition for one forward spot on the four lines is already between Jimmy Hayes, Michael Frolik, Brandon Saad, Jeremy Morin and Ben Smith.
Myers: Bollig got a nice introduction to the NHL and did what he was supposed to do: defend teammates or get them going with a brawl. Will he start next season with the big club? That depends on a few things. One is how he does in training camp. The other is what kind of players the Blackhawks are looking to acquire this summer. Bollig is young, big and willing to take the punches for his team. He should at least get a serious look if he has a good camp.
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Up next: Andrew Shaw