Brandon Bollig, forward
2013-14 cap hit: $575,000| Age: 27 | Season stats: 7 goals, 7 assists, minus-1
Season recap: Bollig found a permanent spot in the lineup during the regular season for the first time in his career. He, Ben Smith and Marcus Kruger provided a dependable defensive fourth line for the Blackhawks for much of the regular season. Without Kruger and Smith often in the playoffs, Bollig’s play declined and his ice time was decimated.
Season highlight: Bollig scored his first career NHL goal in the season opener.
Season lowlight: The playoffs were a nightmare for Bollig. He was suspended two games for an illegal hit, was a healthy scratch two games after playing in all 82 regular-season games, played less than seven minutes in 10-of-15 playoff games and was a minus-6 for the playoffs.
Final grade: C.
Inside the numbers: Bollig had a 50.9 Corsi percentage (5.6 percent less than the relative average of his teammates) during the regular season, and his Corsi dropped to 35.4 percent (14.2 percent less to the relative average) in the playoffs, according to extraskater.com.
Notes: Bollig led the Blackhawks with 203 hits and 92 penalty minutes in the regular season.
Quotes: “He’s really progressed,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Bollig during the regular season. “He gave us a nice ingredient, adding toughness off the bat. As a hockey player, that’s the part that may have surprised a lot of us -- the consistency of his game, what he’s able to do with the puck and play selection. That line’s helped over the last year and a half. We utilize him in an important role. We’re comfortable with him defensively and he adds a nice dimension to our lineup.”
What’s next: Bollig may not be a fan favorite, but the front office and Quenneville have proven they like him. They signed him to a three-year contract extension in the regular season. He can be expected to play on the fourth line again next season.