The Blackhawks have put goaltender Alexander Salak on waivers, ending his time with the organization. Salak was acquired from the Florida Panthers, along with Michael Frolik, for Jack Skille in February of 2011. Salak was thought to be the gem of that deal and was looked upon as the possible goalie of the future. Salak had a injury plagued season in Rockford going just 6-10 with a 2.69 goals against average and a .902 save %. His leg injury might have cost him a spot in the Chicago system because his replacement Carter Hutton completely outplayed him. The Blackhawks are also high on Mac Carruth, who is coming off a deep playoff run with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL. Salak also had a bit of a bad attitude and had a knack to throw the occasional temper tantrum. The combination of all of these has landed Salak in the unemployment line. I expect someone to scoop him up rather quickly. He does have the skills to make it to the NHL some day as long as his health and attitude improves.
This is the first of many moves for general manager Stan Bowman this summer. I fully expect StanBo to be very busy during the NHL draft next week. With this move the Hawks will be drafting a goalie at some point, hopefully in the later rounds. I also expect Bowman to be actively trying to move Frolik and Niklas Hjalmarsson to free up some more of that coveted cap space. The games on the ice might be over until the fall, but the games off the ice have just begun.