With their bye week starting, the Chicago Blackhawks made a series of roster moves on Sunday morning, sending several players to the minor leagues and activating defenseman Michal Rozsival from the injured reserve list.
Rozsival had been out since late January when he was placed on injured reserve. In 14 games this season, the veteran defenseman had one assist, and he routinely was a healthy scratch as the Blackhawks relied on a younger mix of players on the blue line.
To make room for Rozsival, the Blackhawks sent four players down to the minor leagues. Defenseman Gustav Forsling was sent back to the Rockford IceHogs, as were forwards Vincent Hinostroza, Tanner Kero, and Nick Schmaltz.
Before Blackhawks fans hit the panic button, there are several reasons for the moves. With the Blackhawks off for the next week, they want younger players to continue getting minutes, so expect all four players to get some ice time beginning on Wednesday morning when the IceHogs play Cleveland.
The Blackhawks’ next game isn’t until Saturday, so the four players could also play in a Friday evening showdown with the Monsters, but that decision won’t be made until next week.
In addition to playing time, there are salary cap reasons for the moves. According to the good folks at CapFriendly, the Blackhawks will save nearly $18,000 per day while the four players are gone, and in total they could bank around $477,000 in trade deadline cap space if the four players stay down for an entire week.
That could come in handy as the Blackhawks shop around for additions before the deadline, as a top six winger and a veteran defenseman are likely on G.M. Stan Bowman’s shopping list.