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updated: 9/17/2013 8:44 PM

Bollig's not just a tough guy, he plays well-rounded role

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  • Brandon Bollig plays the role for enforcer for the Hawks, but he also contributes in many other ways.

       Brandon Bollig plays the role for enforcer for the Hawks, but he also contributes in many other ways.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

The role of enforcer has changed in the NHL.

To play, you've got to be able to play the game, which is why Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville sees real value in left wing Brandon Bollig.

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"I think in today's game, he's that guy that can play and has that element of toughness that everybody looks for," Quenneville said.

"That one-dimensional tough guy, that role has almost evaporated from our game. You've got to be able to play, you've got to be able to play against good players and you've got to be comfortable and predictable without the puck.

"I thought his game last year, he kind of filled that niche for us real well."

Bollig, who appeared in 25 games with the Hawks and had 51 penalty minutes, agreed the role he does has changed.

"I think the days of having guys that strictly fight and not being able to play are behind us," Bollig said. "You definitely have to be able to get around the ice and play your position and bang bodies and play sound defensively.

"Obviously, I'm ready to do the fighting aspect, but also the other stuff as far as growing my game and growing my responsibility and increasing my ice time is something I'm definitely focusing on."

Bollig appreciated to hear that Quenneville thinks he can play the game as well as handle things physically.

"It's nice that one of the best coaches in the league, if not the best, has that confidence in me," Bollig said. "That you're more than a fighter is obviously nice to hear, but if you're going to stick around the game a long time you definitely have to be more well-rounded than just going out there and fight every couple games.

"When the time comes I'm definitely willing to do that because it's what got me here. I'm not going to stray to far from doing that."

Kruger ready for anything:

As the Hawks' premier penalty killer, Marcus Kruger is just as eager as fans to find out who is going to replace Michael Frolik as his PK partner.

"It was fun to play with Michael last year, but I'm sure we're going to come up with something here," Kruger said. "If that's the job they want me to do this year as well, I'm going to do it. I'm sure we're going to find someone else to do it with me."

Joel Quenneville has been impressed by Kruger's attitude and all-around game so far in training camp.

"He's one of those guys you have a real appreciation for," Quenneville said. "He just keeps getting better. He wants more the way he shows his consistency in his game. He's got an appetite where he just wants to be the best he can be.

"Offensively, he has improved every year. I think that mentality he brings allows us to be a four-line team."

Roster reduced:

The Hawks assigned forward David Gilbert to Rockford on Tuesday.

In addition, the team assigned defensemen Dillon Fournier (Rouyn-Noranda) and Travis Brown (Moose Jaw) and goaltender Brandon Whitney (Victoriaville) to their respective junior teams.

The Hawks also released forwards Wade Brookbank and Pat Mullane and defensemen Joe Gleason, Jared Nightingale and Bobby Shea from training camp.

The team's active roster now includes 28 forwards, 14 defensemen and five goaltenders.

Tip-ins:

Patrick Sharp finished first in the fitness-testing competition. ... Jonathan Toews won't play until the weekend because of the lower-body injury that has kept him out of training camp. ... Corey Crawford was slated to play the full game Tuesday against Detroit. Joel Quenneville said of the Hawks' six preseason games, Crawford would get three, Nikolai Khabibulin two and Antti Raanta one.

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