With several players getting ready to return from injury, the Chicago Blackhawks have some tough decisions to make, and Friday brought the first one as they activated defenseman Michal Rozsival from long-term injured reserve.
Rozsival, who broke his ankle during the team’s second round series against the Minnesota Wild in the 2015 playoffs, signed with the team during training camp and has been slowly working his way back from the injury as the organization looks for more veteran depth on the blue line.
In 65 games with the Blackhawks in the 2014-15 season, Rozsival scored a goal and added 12 assists, but his game didn’t really turn up a notch until the postseason when he was a solid defensive presence before his injury ended his playoff run.
In a corresponding move, the Blackhawks have reassigned defenseman Erik Gustafsson to the Rockford IceHogs. In six games with the Blackhawks this season, Gustafsson notched three assists and showed some definite potential as a puck-moving defenseman, but he’s the first casualty as the Hawks start to shuffle their roster up.
The next move will come at some point in the next few days, as defenseman Duncan Keith is nearing activation from long-term injured reserve. Viktor Svedberg is certainly a candidate to be sent down, but the Blackhawks could also attempt to get David Rundblad through waivers. The team will also have to send at least one forward down to Rockford, with Brandon Mashinter a likely candidate to be reassigned.