Dale Tallon's the one who built the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, so when he took the job as general manager in Florida with the Panthers, you knew he was going to still keep close ties with his old club.
Those ties came to fruition tonight when Tallon and the Panthers traded forward Michael Frolik and the rights to goaltender Alexander Salak to Chicago in exchange for Jack Skille, Hugh Jessiman, and David Pacan.
Frolik, a former 20-goal scorer with Florida, has played in 213 NHL games -- far more than any other player in this deal. Chicago has been looking for scoring wingers and Frolik certainly fits the bill. We'll have to see exactly where he fits in the Blackhawks lineup.
Skille is the real piece going back to Florida in the deal. He's played in the NHL this season, mostly as a fourth liner with Chicago. He's put up 17 points in 49 games so far this season, but he's an excellent skater and he certainly has the tools to succeed at the NHL level.
It's hard not to give the immediate edge to Stan Bowman and Chicago here, though. Jessiman's a former first round pick of the Rangers but eight years after that 2003 draft, he's toiling away in the AHL. He likely won't be much of an impact player at the NHL level, especially considering he's never played even a single game there.
Pacan is a young 19-year-old who made the jump from college at the University of Vermont to the OHL this past season. It's tough to get a solid read on his professional future just yet.
Salak, the goalie prospect going to the Blackhawks, was probably seen as expendable by the Panthers' organization. They have Jacob Markstrom waiting in the wings there and plan to hand the reigns over to him sooner rather than later, although you have to wonder what the plan is now if Markstrom doesn't pan out.
Salak went back to Europe prior to this season after playing 48 games with Rochester of the AHL a year ago.