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Blackhawks trade Bollig to Flames, free cap space

by Dan Rosen / NHL.com

PHILADELPHIA -- The Chicago Blackhawks got some necessary salary-cap relief and an extra draft pick by trading forward Brandon Bollig to the Calgary Flames for the No. 83 pick Saturday at the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center.

The Blackhawks used the pick to select right wing Matheson Iacopelli, who had 41 goals last season playing for Muskegon in the United States Hockey League.

By trading Bollig for a draft pick, the Blackhawks save $1.25 million on the $69 million NHL salary cap. The Blackhawks are in the market for a second-line center and have less than $1 million in available salary-cap space, according to Capgeek.com.

"It’s always tough when you trade a player who has been … a regular player for you," 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 lot in terms of we brought him out of college (St. Lawrence) and developed him and he made himself an NHL player. So we wish him the best. But, yeah, we have to look at doing some things like that to prepare for next year."

Bollig had 14 points and 92 penalty minutes in 82 games last season. He had no points in 43 games during the previous two seasons. He signed a three-year, $3.75 million contract extension in March.

He's a fourth-line player who fits the mold of the type of bottom-six player Flames president of hockey operations Brian Burke usually likes.

Bowman said he's targeting Brandon Mashinter as a replacement for Bollig. Mashinter had 35 points in 58 games with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League last season. He is 25 years old and has played in 23 NHL games with the San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers. He has no points in the NHL.

"There's definitely value in having a player like that that can do some different things," Bowman said. "We were fortunate last year we made a trade that didn't get a lot of attention. We traded Kyle Beach for Brandon Mashinter. He came into Rockford (American Hockey League) and played really well for us, to the point where we re-signed him during the season to a two-year deal. Brandon is going to get a chance to see what he can do. He's played in the NHL before, not in a big way. As a younger player he got some games in San Jose. We're certainly going to give him every opportunity to show what he can do."

The Blackhawks also confirmed they have parted with goalie coach Steve Weeks, who was hired last season to replace Stephane Waite.

"It's tough to break it down exactly the change, but it was something we wanted to do," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said, according to ESPN Chicago. "It is a tough situation, but we're looking to make a change. If we can fill it sooner than later, that's what we'll look to do."

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