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Ebbett in, Skille out for now
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/19/2009 5:11 PM | Updated: 10/19/2009 5:16 PM

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Jack Skille should have figured his roster spot was in jeopardy Saturday when the Blackhawks claimed forward Andrew Ebbett off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks.

Do the math.

Ebbett brought with him a favorable salary cap hit of just $475,000 while Skille, as a former first-round draft pick, is at $1.25 million.

So it came as no surprise on Monday when coach Joel Quenneville said Ebbett would be taking over on the fourth line for Skille on Wednesday against Vancouver.

Skille was sent back to Rockford on Sunday and will stay there this time.

"He's a very useful player," Quenneville said after watching Ebbett in Monday's practice. "He had a real good year last year and our staff really liked the addition watching him practice. He can really help us in a lot of ways. He can play center and he can play wing and he can make plays. I liked the way he fit in."

Ebbett had 8 goals and 24 assists in 48 games for Anaheim last season but was the odd-man out after the Ducks signed veteran Saku Koivu as a free agent.

"To get picked up by a team like this, I didn't think this was one of the places I would go," Ebbett said. "I'm thrilled and excited. It's such a good, young team here, I think it fits me well. They're fast and skilled and I think that suits my style pretty well.

"I went to school at Michigan and I love being in the Midwest. This is a good time for me."

While Ebbett is a natural center, the plan is to play him on left wing on the fourth line and keep Colin Fraser at center.

"I'm fine there," Ebbett said. "I played a couple games in preseason there and am looking forward to the challenge."

Power failure: After going 0-for-4 in the loss to Dallas, the Hawks' power play has dipped to 13th in the NHL - although at a highly respectable 23.3 percent.

"Our power play wasn't very effective last game," Joel Quenneville said. "That kind of went hand in hand with what we were talking about with the momentum of the game and the pace of the game basically consistent with the energy level."

Contract talks? According to a report by Pierre LeBrun on, Pat Brisson, the agent representing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, will be in town this week to talk contracts with Hawks general manager Stan Bowman.

Toews and Kane would be restricted free agents after the season and, according to a source, the Hawks want to get new deals done sooner than later.

Bowman was unavailable for comment Monday.