Report: Blackhawks release goalie prospect Alexander SalakContinue reading.
Blackhawks re-sign Smith, Bollig; release Salak
When forming his roster for the 2012-13 season, general manager Stan Bowman said he would look internally first and go from there.
In other words, it appears Bowman and Co. remain confident in the abilities of forwards Ben Smith and Brandon Bollig after the team announced Monday they were signed to new two-year deals. The Hawks also signed goalie Carter Hutton to a one-year, two-way contract.
The same can’t be said about goalie Alexander Salak, though. Salak was released Monday after being placed on waivers and going unclaimed.
Bollig, 25, joined the Hawks last season after enforcer John Scott was traded to the New York Rangers. Brought in for the same responsibilities as Scott, Bollig garnered praise from coach Joel Quenneville for more than fighting.
The 6-2, 223-pounder accumulated 58 penalty minutes in the 18 games he played during the regular season for the Hawks. Bollig also saw time in four playoff games agains the Phoenix Coyotes, which included playing over veteran Jamal Mayers.
Smith, 23, didn’t come close to making the impact many projected he would have after starring in the 2011 postseason against the Vancouver Canucks. But he still remains a favorite of Quenneville’s and Bowman’s.
Smith underwent surgery on March 15 for a right hip labral tear and a hernia. A full recovery was expected in 16 weeks. Smith had 15 goals, including eight on the power play, and 31 points in 38 games for the Rockford IceHogs’ last season.
Hutton, 26, burst onto the scene last year with the IceHogs, recording a 22-13-4 record with three shutouts, a 2.35 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage in 43 regular-season games.
Hutton’s success also spelled the end for Salak. Bowman said he was high on Salak when he first acquired him in the Michael Frolik deal with the Florida Panthers on Feb. 9, 2011.
Bowman even said before last season that he was comfortable if Corey Crawford and Salak were his two goalies, but Ray Emery was invited to training camp shortly after.
Salak, who initially signed a two-year deal with the Hawks, had a 6-10-2 record and 2.69 goals-against average in 21 games with Rockford this year, his first in the organization.