Blackhawks trade Bollig to Flames

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PHILADELPHIA — The Blackhawks cleared some room under the salary cap when they dealt winger Brandon Bollig to the Calgary Flames for a third-round selection in the 2014 NHL Draft on Saturday.

Bollig, who signed a three-year, $3.75 million contract extension in March, was a regular on the Hawks’ fourth line and finished with seven goals and seven assists and a team-leading 92 penalty minutes. The move takes Bollig’s salary-cap hit of $1.25 million per season off the books.

“It’s always tough when you trade a player who has been … a regular player for you,” Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said. “You have to make tough decisions these days. We’re not the only team that will go through that. We wish him the best. We helped him a long in terms of we brought him out of college and developed him and he made himself an NHL player. So we wish him the best. But … we have to look at doing some things like that to prepare for next year.’

Bollig, who recently bought a condo in River North, was surprised at the deal.

“It definitely came as a shock,” Bollig told the Calgary Sun. “I wasn’t expecting it but it’s obviously part of the business. I’m excited. Obviously, my time in Chicago was amazing and I’m going to miss all those guys, but I’m excited to bring my game up there and see where this year takes us.

“My time here in Chicago was amazing and I’ll never forget it,” Bollig added. “But it’s going to be fun to help rebuild that organization.”

In exchange for Bollig, the Hawks received the 83rd overall pick of the draft and used it to select Matheson Iacopelli, a winger from Muskegon of the USHL. With the 88th pick, the Blackhawks selected Beau Starrett, a left winger from Framingham, Mass.

The two-day NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center resulted in the Hawks selecting nine players, including two centers, two left wingers, two right wingers, two defensemen and a goaltender.

“We’re pleased,” Bowman said. “We walked away with a nice mixture. We got guys at every position and that was one of the things we wanted to do was try to address some needs across the board. Wingers, centers, defensemen, goalie. We’re really happy with the breadth of players we chose.”

Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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