Brouwer happy for Blackhawks, and a bit envious

Updated 10/1/2013 11:16 PM

Troy Brouwer still makes his off-season home in Chicago, but when the Blackhawks were in the Stanley Cup Final against Boston he had to get out of town.

Sure enough, the Hawks won the Stanley Cup, the town went crazy, and Brouwer was far away from the madness.

"I left when they were in the Finals because I didn't want to have to be around for all that," said Brouwer, now with the Washington Capitals. "I still get recognized within the city and a lot of people say I wish you were still here.

"I'm happy for the guys that are here, but my focus is winning a Cup in Washington, and I didn't want to be a part of anything that was going on here in the Finals."

Brouwer was with the Hawks when they won their first Stanley Cup in 2010 and still was with the team the following season when that banner was raised.

He had mixed emotions Tuesday watching the new banner go up.

"I'm happy for the guys here that I played with and happy for the city at the same time," Brouwer said. "I'm jealous because I want to be raising the banner in Washington.

"Hopefully with the Cup being here Tuesday night and the guys being able to see what the celebration is like and how it is to win it and how your city embraces you, it will light a fire under us to have a good start and hopefully win ourselves a championship."

It was Brouwer's second game back at the United Center since being traded for a first-round draft pick that turned out to be Phillip Danault.

"It's always fun to come back to where you started in the NHL and where I was able to win a Cup," Brouwer said. "I've got a lot of ties here and a lot of good memories here, but there are mixed emotions when you come back.

"You want to play hard against your old team, but at the same time it's tough."

More ice time:

Brandon Bollig is always looking to add to his duties with the Hawks.

So with coach Joel Quenneville looking to replace Michael Frolik on the penalty kill, he thought of Bollig, and now it's up to the Hawks' enforcer to run with it.

"That's something that is going to help me expand my role on this team and expanding my presence," Bollig said. "It's something that I would love to be responsible for. I did it a lot in the minors, and I'm definitely hoping it transfers into the NHL this season.

"There wasn't any volunteering. They just came to me and kind of put me on it. It's nice and a good way to get more ice time."

Quenneville can't promise that Bollig will be out there every other shift on the PK. He will be used more on a need basis.

"We've used him in the past, whether it's exhibition, and we watched him down in Rockford where there were some shifts where he was killing penalties," Quenneville said. "We know he's capable of it. Whether he gets some of that ice time as we go along, we'll see.

"His positioning defensively and 5-on-5 and penalty-killing situations, he puts himself in the right spot and is willing to block shots and anticipates well on the defensive side of the puck. So we'll have that option, but whether he gets much of that is tough to say."

First-line pressure:

Bryan Bickell went into the season with a new set of pressures. Not only does he have a new $4 million contract, but he was starting at left wing on the first line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

"He had that playoff where you always want your power forward to have," Joel Quenneville said. "The bigger the game, the more quality ice time he got, and he responded in the right way.

"It'll be a good test, knowing he's going to be out there against top defense pairs and top lines. He's going to get a lot more attention than he saw throughout most of his career.

"Let's see how he responds game in and game out."

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