Blackhawks trade for Michael Frolik

Updated: February 10, 2011, 12:24 PM ET
By Jesse Rogers | ESPNChicago.com

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Chicago Blackhawks have acquired forward Michael Frolik in a five-player deal that will send Jack Skille and two prospects to the Florida Panthers.

Frolik, 22, was the 10th pick overall in the 2006 NHL entry draft. He has eight goals and 21 assists in 52 games played this season, his third in the league. He scored 21 goals in each of his first two NHL seasons.

"Frolik is a player we've been interested in actually dating back to draft year," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "He fits into the future of our franchise. He has versatility. He's just coming into his own in the NHL and the thing we like is his size, and he's put up productive numbers already and accomplished quite a bit."

Chicago also added goaltender Alexander Salak in the trade, while minor league forwards Hugh Jessiman and David Pacan headed to Florida.

Bowman said the team might not be done making deals in a conference call Wednesday night.

"We'll keep an eye on things," Bowman said. "We're certainly looking to improve our team. That's probably common to every team. We're not going to shy away from another trade if it's there to be made...We're pursuing it daily."

Frolik could line up at either center or wing for the Blackhawks.

"That's actually why we're intrigued by him," Bowman said. "He has that versatility. At this point it's premature to say where he'll play. But having a guy who can play either right or left or in the middle is a tool at [coach] Joel [Quenneville's] disposal."

The Hawks are in need of a penalty-killing defenseman. They might have taken care of their need at forward with Wednesday's trade.

"We have a lot of conversations and we're not going to stop trying to make something happen," Bowman said. "Hopefully it'll work."

Frolik
Frolik

Skille, 23, was the seventh overall pick in the 2005 draft. He has seven goals and 10 assists on the year but was limited to fourth-line minutes.

Skille was told of the trade before the team began warmups in Edmonton on Wednesday.

"It's sad to see and say goodbye to all those great guys in the locker room tonight," Skille said. "That's a moment I'll never forget. "

For Skille the trade to Florida -- and the chance to once again work with former Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon, who now holds the same position with the Panthers -- presents a new opportunity.

"I can't sit there and complain and do that whole thing because if I do I'm going to be worried about the wrong things," he said. "Obviously, I would've liked to have had a better opportunity. I think they knew that. I think that's why they're giving me the chance to go to Florida. Obviously, Dale Tallon drafted me and I know he believes in me as a player. I'm excited about that.

"I feel like I'm better than a fourth-line player. But at the same time, that's the role you're given and you have to play it. I'm not going to say I'm too good for anything. That's not the case. Right now it's more of a case of fitting into that team. And that was my role in Chicago."

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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