You didn’t need a degree in hockey logic to conclude no other general manager would value Jack Skille as much as Dale Tallon. On Wednesday evening the Hawks shipped Skille, Ice Hog Hugh Jessiman and prospect David Pacan to Florida for center Michael Frolik and goalie Alexander Salak.
In essence two former first round draft picks were exchanged, Skille and Frolik.
As noted in Puck Daddy, Jessiman was the only first round draft pick in 2003 (12th overall), to never play in the NHL.
Skille hasn’t proven to be a NHL top six forward, most likely Tallon will give him an opportunity to play a lot of minutes. Frolik has been in the league for three seasons and has scored 21 goals two times. Frolik is only 22, and will probably be given an opportunity to play the pivot on the Hawks’ second line.
Frolik came into the league with a lot of hype, being compared to the great Jaromir Jagr. So far Frolik hasn’t lived up to that type of billing but he is still young. Skille is a work in progress, while Frolik is a more established player. Stan Bowman acquired a big center with some offense and Tallon got a player he was always high on. Evidently Tallon didn’t value Frolik as much as the Panthers’ front office did in the past.
Frolik could center an all Czech line with Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky. With the addition of Folik, Patrick Sharp can now go back to wing and could possibly play on the first line. If not Kopecky could drop down and play on the third or fourth line.
This is a good trade for the Hawks. Skille wasn’t going to play top six minutes in Chicago and it is a better opportunity for him. The acquisition of Frolik gives Joel Quenneville more options.
Salak is playing in the Swedish Elite League . He has a league leading .925 save percentage, with six shutouts and a 2.04 GAA.
I don’t think Bowman is done. But it should be noted Frolik is a $1,275,000 salary cap hit compared to $600,000 for Skille. Frolik will become a restricted free agent this summer.
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