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Blackhawks Thu Feb 10 2011

Struggling Hawks Trade for Versatile Forward

Thumbnail image for blackhawks.gifAny fair trade has to be fair. Don't give me a carrot and expect a brownie in return. Wednesday's deal between the Blackhawks and the Florida Panthers isn't exactly brownie for brownie. It's more like Jello for pudding: Nothing spectacular gained, nothing spectacular lost. It's all a matter of preference and team needs.

Chicago general manager Stan Bowman made the official announcement just before last night's 4-1 win in Edmonton. Hawks right-winger Jack Skille has been sent to Florida with two prospects in exchange for center Michael Frolik, who should arrive in time for Friday's game at Dallas, and a young goalie.

It's been obvious as this season has progressed that Skille, 23, wasn't meeting the expectations of coach Joel Quenneville. He hasn't necessarily been bringing the team down, but stuck behind Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa on the right wing, Skille wasn't a vital player for the Hawks.

Frolik, on the other hand, will be given a chance to up his numbers once he moves north. Currently both players are close in goals scored, Skille with seven and Frolik with eight. Frolik, a 22-year-old Czech, isn't a great goal-scorer, but he has 21 assists this season (compared to Skille's 10).

The trade seems to be a good deal for Skille, as well. Although he's leaving behind a more talented Chicago team, he'll have a chance to boost his stats with the Panthers and hopefully develop into a more well-rounded player.

With Frolik coming into play in the lineup, Quenneville has more options to toy with. He could put Frolik on the second line between Tomas Kopecky and Hossa, as the unofficial depth chart anticipates, or use him on the third line with Troy Brouwer and Fernando Pisani, elevating Dave Bolland to the second line.

Chicago's other acquisition in the trade was 24-year-old goalie Alexander Salak. Don't expect to see too much of him this season, though, as Quenneville seems more than happy with Corey Crawford as starting goalie. Be on the lookout for Salak next season as a possible backup behind Crawford.

The trading deadline is Feb. 28, giving Bowman a chance to bring in more potential talent. Rumor has it that Viktor Stalberg and Bryan Bickell are both on the table, although no one has reported any specifics on who the Hawks would get in return or who Bowman is considering deals with.

However they use Frolik, it's obvious that Quenneville and company like the idea of having more versatile players. Players like him allow the opportunity for some mix-ups in the lines, hopefully finding the right combination the Hawks have been searching for all season.

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Dylan Grandon / February 10, 2011 9:31 PM

Excellent analogies about carrots and brownies and Jello for pudding! So proud of you sarah! This is awesome!!!

FRED ROGERS / February 10, 2011 10:01 PM


Ashley Luckett / February 14, 2011 3:52 PM

So proud of you! You're actually writing things that don't bore me to death! (:

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