Chicago Blackhawks

Versteeg Activated from IR; Nordstrom Sent Down to Rockford

Versteeg missed 17 games with a hand injury, while the Hawks went 8-8-1 in that span

The Chicago Blackhawks will welcome back a familiar face on Wednesday night as the team activated winger Kris Versteeg from long-term injured reserve.

In a corresponding roster move, the Blackhawks also announced that they had sent forward Joakim Nordstrom to the Rockford IceHogs.

Versteeg has been a much better player for the Blackhawks this season than he was a year ago, scoring nine goals and dishing out 18 assists so far in 34 games played. He has been out since the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 after suffering a hand injury while blocking a shot in the game, and in the 17 games he was out, the Blackhawks went 8-8-1.

The question now with Versteeg coming back to the lineup is where he will slot in among the team’s forward lines. There are numerous places he could slot in, but it seems unlikely that Joel Quenneville would break up the team’s second line, considering how well they are performing. A more likely scenario would have Versteeg ease back into the lineup on the fourth line with Marcus Kruger and either Ben Smith or Daniel Carcillo alongside, with Teuvo Teravainen slotting in on the third line with Andrew Shaw and Bryan Bickell.

The Blackhawks will next hit the ice on Wednesday night when they take on the Vancouver Canucks.

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