FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Right now, it looks like the Blackhawks won the Jack Skille-for-Michael Frolik trade with the Florida Panthers.
Skille is out with a high-ankle sprain and was a minus-8 in six games before leaving his seventh game in a Panthers uniform because of his injury. He has only one assist for Florida and is expected to miss two to four more weeks.
Frolik, on the other hand, has settled in on the third line with Jake Dowell and Troy Brouwer. He recently ended his 32-game goal drought and now has two goals and two assists in his past three games.
Skille and Frolik are different players, but the skill of Frolik has shown more value than the speed and physical play of Skille -- at least for right now. Both teams will have to sign their new winger when the season ends.
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon is still very high on Skille. Tallon drafted him with the seventh overall pick in 2005 when he was the Hawks' GM.
Tallon has a history of making shrewd trades that work out in his favor, too. It was some of those moves that made the Hawks a Stanley Cup winner. As Hawks GM, Tallon acquired Patrick Sharp, Andrew Ladd and Kris Versteeg in trades that turned out to be very one-sided.
"Jack's got a chance to be scorer in the league," Tallon said. "We drafted him seventh overall. He's not a fourth-line guy. He needs to get some ice time to see if he can prove himself.
"We've got a lot of assets and he's a young guy who fits into our future. It's just a different player than Michael. I just needed a different dynamic in our team."
That dynamic Skille has, Tallon said.
"We needed change," Tallon said. "We had similar players to Michael in [Rostislav] Olesz and [Evgeny] Dadonov. We had those types of players.
"We needed to change the dynamic of our team. I needed some speed and physicality to our lineup. That's something where we're not at the right place as far as that's concerned. It was just a matter of getting a different dynamic in our lineup."