The Chicago Blackhawks have been in the news frequently this season with the impending contract extensions of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith and the likely dealing of of a few expensive players.
But one player whose name has not been mention around the Blackhawks is former first-round pick Jack Skille.
At the start of the season, Skille was once again expected to compete for a roster spot but once again was unable to stick with the NHL club and has found himself back with the Rockford Ice Hogs.
Skille has struggled in Rockford this season, scoring only six points and posting a minus-two rating in 13 games.
So why would he be a good fit for the Blackhawks in 2010?
Simple, it's economics.
While Skille does have a sizable cap hit this season at $1.275 million, that will be much reduced next season unless he gets called up to the NHL and goes on a massive scoring tear.
With Skille's cap hit coming down to let's say $700,000 next season, he could be a very valuable asset to the Blackhawks, as he could be a cheaper option over the likes of Andrew Ladd, Dustin Byfuglien, or Tomas Kopecky.
Now, I agree that Skille really hasn't done anything at the NHL level or even the AHL level to guarantee him a roster spot next season, but he is an interesting option.
Skille is pegged as a power forward who can play amongst the top nine forwards and would probably fit on a third line with Troy Brouwer and whoever the third-line center will be next season.
Next season could be a make-or-break season for Skille, as it will be his fourth season as a pro, and he could show the Blackhawks if his is a true NHL talent or purely another draft bust.
I know I have been a big supporter of Skille's since he was drafted in 2005, but my confidence in him been slipping as the depth up front in the Blackhawks organization has grown.
If Skille plans on being a part of the Chicago Blackhawks organization past 2010, he will need to make his up his play this season and in 2010 or could turn into an ex-Blackhawk after next season.