I guess it is starting to become clear why Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman keeps trading away prospects. It must be because they really like everyone on the NHL roster.
On Monday the team gave forward Brandon Bollig a new three-year deal worth $1.25 million per year. Bollig was set to become a free agent this summer. The only players on the current roster who don't have contracts for next season are Ben Smith, Sheldon Brookbank, Michal Handzus and the newly acquired Peter Regin.
I can only assume this is an early birthday present as Bollig is about to turn 28 on March 9. Bowman had this to say about Bollig's play and developement:
"We take a great amount of pride in having watched Brandon come up through our system and become a big part of our lineup on a daily basis. We are pleased to be able to come to this agreement with him, ensuring that he will remain a part of our organization. We look forward to seeing his continued development with the Blackhawks.”
Bollig is having a career season, which is easy since he failed to register a point in the NHL before this season. On the season he has six goals and six assists while playing on the fourth line for coach Joel Quenneville. He is a plus 2 on the year and leads the team with 69 penalty minutes.
To me, this move has me scratching my head. Does a team like the Hawks need to lock up a fourth liner to a three-year deal? And more importantly did they need to spend that much to lock him up? Is Bollig really worth nearly $4 million over three years?
With the impending free agency of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad, I would say no. But again I'm not the GM who helped lead the team to 2 Stanley Cup championships in 4 years. But if the money that was given to Bollig and Bryan Bickell causes the team to lose one other key guy, there will be plenty of people to tell Bowman, I told you so.