The Washington Times - June 25, 2011, 12:03AM

ST. PAUL, Minn. | Just a little over a year ago, the Blackhawks were on top of the hockey world as Stanley Cup champions. Troy Brouwer was one of the guys who helped Chicago get there – and by the end of Friday night he was gone, traded to the Capitals for the 26th pick in the NHL Entry Draft.

Why general manager Stan Bowman did it was a combination of things, including wanting to clear salary space and roster room for younger guys. But that’s not all.

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“We’re trying to improve our team,” he said.” And there are gonna be changes made when you don’t reach the ultimate goal. I think you need to look to get better and we’re trying to do that with promoting from within as well as acquiring new players.

In getting the 25-year-old right wing, general manager George McPhee believes he’s doing that for the Caps.

“This couldn’t have worked out better for us. We drafted really well, we have some good young players coming in,” he said. “We really wanted to insert this kind of player into our lineup; he was available at this draft.”

Brouwer was highly sought after, too. The Vancouver Sun reported the Canucks were involved in talks to deal the 29th pick to Chicago for Brouwer, who will be a restricted free agent on July 1. The Blackhawks were able to field a lot of offers because they want to phase in guys like Jeremy Morin and Kyle Beach, who Bowman said “play a similar style to Troy.”

“We’re fortunate in our situation; we’ve got a lot of young players who we need to find spots for,” Bowman said.

But there doesn’t seem to be any kind of animosity toward Brouwer from the Blackhawks’ organization. Instead, this appears to be a hockey move that Chicago hopes to benefit from while the Caps enjoy Brouwer’s services.

“It’s tough to see a person like Troy go,” Bowman said. “He’s been a great Blackhawk, he’s a classy guy, a hard worker and we’re gonna miss him.”