The Chicago Blackhawks had some options on how they wanted to set their roster after Corey Crawford underwent an appendectomy on Saturday, and on Sunday they have made their choices as Lars Johansson was recalled from Rockford.
Johansson, who has a 6-7-1 record with a 2.63 goals against average in 16 games this season, will be the back-up for Scott Darling during Crawford’s absence. He has never played in the NHL, and until this season was playing in the Swedish Hockey League.
To make room for Johansson on the roster, the Blackhawks needed to clear salary cap space, and to do that they sent Nick Schmaltz down to Rockford. The rookie forward has a goal and three assists in 26 games this season, and he’s looked tentative at times on the ice as he’s tried to adjust to the NHL game.
The Blackhawks could have placed Crawford on long-term injured reserve to create cap space, but that would have guaranteed that the netminder would have missed 10 games, and the team is only hoping that he’ll miss two to three weeks after undergoing surgery on Saturday.