Wed Feb 09 09:26pm EST
The only first-round pick from 2003 to never appear in the NHL was packaged by the Chicago Blackhawks along with forward Jack Skille(notes) and minor league right wing David Pacan for the Florida Panthers' struggling Michael Frolik(notes) and the rights to goalie Alexander Salak(notes).
General manager Stan Bowman always has maintained that he's been looking to add depth at center. And, he gets that with Frolik.
Skille, the seventh overall pick in 2005, has been used primarily on the fourth line this season. He signed a one-year deal worth $600,000 in the summer.
The general manager of the Blackhawks in 2005, when Skille was drafted? Panthers GM Dale Tallon, trading with his old team for the second time in a year. (Brian Burke trades with the Ducks, Dale Tallon trades with the Blackhawks ... countdown to Lightning/Red Wings trade begins now.)
Frolik, 22, is a restricted free agent this summer, coming off his entry-level deal. He's also having his worst goal-scoring season as a pro with 8 goals in 52 games, following consecutive seasons with 21 goals. He was demoted down the lineup and a healthy scratch earlier this season. He was also mired in a deep slump last month, as Miami Herald writer George Richards mentioned on Jan. 31:
Michael Frolik really needs to get things going. Haven't noticed him much lately, have you? Frolik comes into this unofficial second half of the season mired in a huge slump. Frolik hasn't scored a goal since Dec. 17 -- that's 19 straight games. Frolik had three assists in the month of January -- all of them coming in the first week of the month. So that's no points -- zero -- in 11 straight.
He does have assists in three consecutive games.
This move form Bowman comes after the Blackhawks basically hit rock bottom on Monday, with Duncan Keith calling out his team for a lack of effort. It was time for a shakeup, time for something to reinvigorate the offense. Can Frolik find his form with the Blackhawks? He'll be skating with a better class of sniper, that's for sure.