NHL Today: Hawks Lock Up Brandon Bollig
Brandon Bollig will reprise his tough guy role for the Hawks.
The Chicago Blackhawks made a few roster moves this weekend, re-signing forwards Brandon Bollig and Ben Smith to two-year deals and goalie Carter Hutton to a one-year deal.
Re-signing restricted free agent Bollig helps address any concerns the Hawks had that they won’t be tough enough. In his first NHL action this season, he went scoreless in 18 games, but racked up 58 penalty minutes in seeing less than six minutes of action per game.
Bollig actually got a bit more PT in the playoffs, appearing in four games and winding up scoring his first career goal.
The 25-year-old left winger is a big boy at 6’2”, 223 who will throw his weight around and is a good guy to have on a team with plenty of skill players. However, mad skills are not in Bollig’s arsenal, so he’ll never be more than a third or fourth liner.
This guy’s job is to make sure no one takes liberties with any of the Hawks’ gunners, so whenever Daniel Carcillo gets suspended or hurt, Bollig will get his chance to get in the ring… er… rink.
Smith, a right winger who turns 24 next month, got a bit longer a look in Chi-Town this season, although he had a disappointing -5 rating in 13 games. In limited PT, he potted a couple of goals, but still hasn’t been able to build on his playoff run in 2010-11, when he notched three goals in seven games while seeing significant ice time.
Smith’s a good skater, but likely won’t ever be a top notch offensive player.
Hutton, a 26-year-old goalie, has yet to appear in the NHL, but he’s coming off a stellar season in the AHL. Neither Corey Crawford nor Ray Emery looked sharp this season, so who knows? Maybe Hutton will get his chance. His re-signing allowed the team to release Alexander Salak.
Salak looked like a top goaltending prospect a few years ago, but after getting into two games with the Panthers in 2009-10, his chances have been drying up in both the NHL and the minors. We think Salak could still wind up being serviceable if given a real shot, but the fact that the Hawks put him on waivers and no one bit speaks volumes.
It’s unlikely any of these players will land on the Fantasy radar, although Hutton probably has the best chance given the Hawks’ inconsistent goaltending situation.