Blackhawks

Blackhawks trade Skille to Florida for Frolik

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Blackhawks trade Skille to Florida for Frolik

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011
Posted 7:48 p.m. Updated 10:05 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Michael Frolik has had the Chicago Blackhawks interest dating back to when he was a first-round draft pick in 2006.

Now theyve got him and he will meet the Blackhawks in Dallas.

The Blackhawks acquired Frolik and goaltender Alexander Salak for Jack Skille, Hugh Jessiman and David Pacan on Wednesday night. The move gives the Blackhawks a versatile player in Frolik, who has played all three forward positions.

General manager Stan Bowman, speaking via conference call, said hes been impressed with what Frolik has been able to do already. Frolik was the Panthers top selection (10th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

At this point its premature to say where hell play, but having a guy who can play either right or left or in the middle is a tool at coach Joel Quennevilles disposal, Bowman said. Well probably figure that out over the next couple of weeks once we see the chemistry he develops. Hes played second line, third line, hes a responsible player and hes trusted at a young age.

Bowman said the trade has been developing for a few weeks.

It takes time and it finally came to the point where both sides were ready to make it happen, he said. We feel like we want to improve our team. This certainly does that.

The 6-foot-1, 196-pound Frolik is in his third season with the Panthers. The 22-year-old native of the Czech Republic has eight goals and 21 assists in 52 games this season for Florida, but has gone without a goal in his last 23 games.

Frolik had 21 goals in each of his past two seasons with the Panthers. Hes in the final year of an entry-level contract that pays him 850,000 this season. With bonuses, his salary cap hit is at 1.275 million.

Skille, the Blackhawks seventh overall selection in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, has seven goals and 10 assists in 49 games this season. The fourth-line right wing said he was told he was being traded after taking initial warm-ups before the Blackhawks game against Edmonton tonight at Rexall Place.

It was sad to say goodbye to all those great guys in the locker room tonight. Thats a moment Ill never forget, said the 23-year-old Skille, who was flying to Florida Wednesday night. The Panthers host the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. Its a great, tight-knit group of guys in Chicago. But Im excited about the opportunity Im being given in Florida.

Skille said he heard the rumors that he could be moved but he tried to put them out of his mind and focus on the Blackhawks. He wants an opportunity to move up among the lines and hopes he gets that with Florida, where hell be reunited with Dale Tallon -- the man who drafted him in Chicago.

I feel like Im better than a fourth-line player. But at the same time, thats the role youre given and you have to play it, Skille said. Now its a matter of seeing what the Panthers see in me and what role they want me to be at and hopefully I can fit in well.

Salak, 24, leads all Swedish Elite League goaltenders with a .925 save percentage and six shutouts. He also has a 2.04 goals-against average in 41 games with Farjestad BK.

The Blackhawks have got that versatile forward they wanted. There are a few weeks remaining before the Feb. 28 trade deadline and Bowman didnt rule out another move being made.

Well keep an eye on things, Bowman said. Were certainly looking to improve our team but thats probably common to every team. Were not going to shy away from another trade if its there to be made. Up until this point there havent been many trades. Were pursuing it daily. We have a lot of conversations and were not going to stop trying to make something happen. Hopefully itll work.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Blackhawks remember Dave Bolland for more than just '17 Seconds'

Blackhawks remember Dave Bolland for more than just '17 Seconds'

The Blackhawks are honoring one of their own on Friday, with Dave Bolland set to skate “One More Shift” with the organization. He will join the team on the ice during the anthem, and will be featured throughout the game commemorating his time in Chicago.

When you think of Bolland, the first thing that pops up into the minds of fans is his game-winning goal in Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins. Or, better known as the second goal of "17 Seconds."

But his former teammates remember him for more than that.

"He was awesome," Patrick Kane said. "He was one of those guys who played a third-line role for like his whole time here and just really did well with it. I remember the line with him, [Martin] Havlat and [Andrew] Ladd really took off in 2009 and obviously [Dustin] Byfuglien, him and [Kris] Versteeg were a good line in 2010. But just the way he played, he got underneath the other team's skin, especially their star players. Wasn't afraid to chirp, wasn't afraid to get into the mix, especially with his size and the way he was built.

"But yeah, some great moments, some big goals, a lot of big shorthanded goals, you can obviously remember his 17 seconds was unbelievable as well, that's a goal I'm sure he'll never forget. We'll never forget that celebration too, so it's awesome he's getting honored."

Bolland, who earned the nickname "The Rat," is perhaps best known for the role he played in the Blackhawks' playoff series battles with the Vancouver Canucks. His line frequently drew the defensive matchups against Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and he's the one player who really knew how to throw both twins off their game at the same time.

"I think he's kind of like Shawzy," Jonathan Toews said. "He's one of those guys that fans here in Chicago really like. Aside from scoring goals and the plays that he made over the years in the playoffs, he was one of those guys that you loved having on your team that other teams hated. He found ways to chip away at their best players and get them off their game. He was good at a lot of little things like that, so he was a big part of those winning teams."

Andrew Shaw was teammates with Bolland for only two seasons, but they won a Stanley Cup together and Bolland was one of the best and knowing his role and perfecting it.

"One of the best at his job," Shaw said. "He played that shutdown centerman. I always thought he had the shortest shifts. His shift lengths were so short just 'cause he would play so much against top guys that he'd want to be so well-rested while he was out there. ... He was skilled enough to chip in offensively as well.

"That's the type of player he was. He'd play against the top guys, he'd shut them down, he'd be that little rat himself, just try to get them off their game as well as outworking them."

Bolland spent seven of his 10 NHL seasons in Chicago, where he registered 168 points (70 goals, 98 assists) in 332 games. He was drafted by the Blackhawks in the second round (No. 32 overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft.

Friday will mark the first night honoring the 10-year anniversary of the 2010 Stanley Cup Championship, which ended a 49-year drought in franchise history. The first 10,000 fans on Friday will receive a Marian Hossa bobblehead.

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Robin Lehner to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets

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USA Today

Robin Lehner to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Blue Jackets

Robin Lehner will start in goal for the Blackhawks when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night, coach Jeremy Colliton confirmed after morning skate. It will be his second start of the season.

In his season debut against the Winnipeg Jets, Lehner stopped 30 of 33 shots for a save percentage of .909 in a 3-2 overtime loss. He gave up a 5-on-5 goal, power-play goal and overtime goal at 3-on-3. Overall, he was solid.

"Everyone wants to play all the time," Colliton said of the dynamic between Corey Crawford and Lehner. "Whether it's a goalie, forward or D, they play better when they play more. That's just the standard answer. But we've had a little bit of a lighter schedule. We're trying to make ... we want both guys going because we're coming up on a stretch where we're playing a lot of games, so we're going to need them both."

Lehner is 5-3-0 with a 1.97 goals-against average, .945 save percentage and one shutout in eight career appearances against the Blue Jackets. 

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