By Ben Meyer-Abbott
Less than two months after Stan Bowman made a point of praising the man who passed him on the depth chart, the Blackhawks reportedly are set to cut ties with minor-league goalie Alexander Salak.
The CBC reported Friday the Hawks have placed Salak on waivers.
Salak, 25, came to the Hawks along with Michael Frolik in a February 2011 trade with the Florida Panthers that sent forward Jack Skille and minor leaguers Hugh Jessiman and David Pacan in the other direction.
The Hawks gave Salak, a former standout in the Swedish Elite League, a serious look as Corey Crawford's backup during training camp last season before opting to go with veteran Ray Emery.
Salak then struggled with the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League, slumping to a 6-10-0 record with a .903 save percentage and a 2.69 goals-against average in 21 games before losing his starting job to Carter Hutton after injuring his left leg in early December.
Asked in April to comment on the strengths of the Hawks' farm system, Bowman made no mention of the Czech Republic native, whose only NHL experience was two games with the Panthers in 2009.
Bowman instead made a point of praising Hutton's progress within the organization.
"Kind of the surprise of the group down there [in Rockford] was Carter Hutton in goal," Bowman said. "He really gave [the IceHogs] a strong foundation night-in, night-out the second half of the season and they made a strong push and Carter was a strong part of that. We're excited about his potential."
Salak has one year left on a two-year, $1.25 million contract.