Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the Blackhawks have traded defenseman Jaroslav Spacek to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for left wing Tony Salmelainen.
"We are continuing to make changes and adapting to a new style of play," said Tallon. "We're trying to get more skill and speed in our lineup. Salmelainen possesses breakaway speed and has great offensive ability."
Salmelainen, 24, was the 3rd choice (41st overall) of the Edmonton Oilers in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. A teammate of current Blackhawk Tuomo Ruutu in their early playing years in Finland, Salmelainen has been playing for HIFK in Finland this season where he has appeared in 41 games scoring 22 goals while adding 19 assists for 41 points with 30 penalty minutes and a +18 rating. His 41 points currently lead the Finnish League in scoring.
Salemlainen played in 13 NHL games for the Edmonton Oilers during the 2003-04 season recording 1 assist with 4 penalty minutes. Last season, he played for Edmonton in the American Hockey League and had 22 goals and 24 assists for 46 points in 76 games.
Spacek was signed by the Blackhawks as a free agent on August 4, 2005. It was his second tour of duty with the Blackhawks. He had also played for the Blackhawks parts of the 2000-01 season after being acquired from Florida and 2001-02 season before being traded to Columbus.
The 31-year-old defenseman appeared in 45 games for the Blackhawks this season scoring 7 goals while adding 17 assists for 24 points with 72 minutes in penalties. In his NHL career with Florida, the Blackhawks, and Columbus Spacek appeared in 465 games scoring 46 goals and adding 140 assists for 186 points with 349 penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 4 career playoff games and has not scored.