Chicago Blackhawks: Call Up of Brandon Bollig Should Add Punch Back at Forward

Jon FromiSenior Analyst IFebruary 28, 2012

Look for Brandon Bollig to announce his presence with authority following his recall from Rockford.
Look for Brandon Bollig to announce his presence with authority following his recall from Rockford.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks sent their enforcer John Scott to the Big Apple Monday afternoon. Those of you wondering where the protection is coming from were given the team's answer to that question Tuesday morning.

After recalling Andrew Shaw Monday night, the Rockford Ice Hogs announced on their website that the 'Hawks are also recalling forward Brandon Bollig. If you're already missing the Murdersaurus, Bollig offers a different type of physical presence.

A physical presence that can actually skate.

Bollig, 25, is a St. Charles, Missouri native who played college hockey at St. Lawrence University and was signed as a free agent by Chicago in 2010. He's 6"3" and 225 pounds and uses that size on the ice. He's a big hitter and currently is seventh in the AHL with 163 penalty minutes.

Let's make no mistake about this, folks. Bollig is up here for the purpose of replacing the departed Scott in the area of enforcement. Unlike Scott, Bollig is more than capable of skating fourth-line minutes for the Blackhawks.

Bollig can get to the net and clean up loose pucks. Think of him as a bigger, meaner (though he's a heck of a nice guy), more intimidating version of Shaw. He did have three goals and six assists in Rockford this season in 53 games, including a big goal Saturday night that led to a shootout victory over Milwaukee.

Bollig has the mobility to reach opponents on the ice and lay the wood in a way Scott was largely unable to do. I wouldn't look for him to provide much in the area of scoring, but it is likely fans will notice his presence on the ice.

Is this a reward for a hardworking player or an audition for a longer gig with the 'Hawks? That remains to be seen. I would think Bollig's recall is the team's way of becoming more physical as the going gets tougher in these last few weeks of the season.

Chicago is a team that has guys like Jamal Mayers and Shaw, who regularly throw down the gloves, but lacked that heavyweight punch after the trade of Scott. Bollig, who will don the No. 52 Indian head sweater, is the first in line to fill that role for the remainder of the season.