After the Michael Frolik trade on Sunday to the Winnipeg Jets there is now an opening on the bottom six. There are many different options for the Chicago Blackhawks staff to choose from when training camp kicks off but let’s take a quick look at the possible options.
First of all let’s throw out the Daniel Carcillo and Brandon Bollig types because Frolik had a penalty kill role while maintaining at least an offensive threat while being skilled enough to be put on the top line which was showcased when he buried the penalty shot on Jimmy Howard in the pivotal Game #6 against the Detroit Red Wings.
There are three Rockford Ice Hogs with some Chicago experience that should be ready to audition for the part played by Frolik in 2013.
1. Jimmy Hayes- Hayes wouldn’t be the speedy penalty killer, but he could be an offensive threat while playing a physical style suited for the bottom 6. Hayes played 67 games in Rockford scoring 25 goals 20 assists with 8 powerplay goals and 2 shorthanded goals. Hayes played 10 games in Chicago scoring a goal and 4 assists. Hayes is a big body at 6ft 6in and can throw his body around. Quenneville and Bowman seem to like his skill set and may have the inside track to a roster spot in October.
2. Jeremy Morin- Morin has a nasty side to him with a nose to put pucks in the back of the net. In Rockford he scored 30 goals with 28 assists, and he played on both special teams scoring 12 powerplay goals and 3 shorthanded goals. Morin played in 3 games with the Blackhawks and scored on his first shift in the Easter morning massacre of the Detroit Red Wings. He had 1 goal and 1 assist and really looked like a guy that could be a top 6 player but was nasty enough to be successful on the bottom 6 until his number with the big guys gets called.
3. Ben Smith- Smith got the emergency start in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs and actually looked like one of the better Hawks on that night. Smith scored 27 goals and had 20 assists. He also played on the powerplay for the Hogs collecting 10 goals. Smith played in 1 regular season game in the finale and scored the only goal of the game. Smith should be given a golden opportunity to crack the lineup at training camp.
What do you think? Who will be getting the Frolik spot come October? All three of these players had a great seasons in Rockford which one do you think will parlay it to a good season in Chicago?
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