The Chicago Blackhawks are slowly paring down their training camp roster as they head toward the start of their regular season next week, and on Tuesday they made a pair of fascinating moves.
Here is the latest roundup of moves made by the Blackhawks –
Brett Connolly Placed on Waivers
The Blackhawks have some tough decisions to make at the forward position coming out of camp, and a bit of clarity emerged on Tuesday as the team placed veteran Brett Connolly on waivers.
According to NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis, the Blackhawks will likely send Connolly to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs if he clears waivers, saving themselves a bit of cap space and more importantly a roster spot for one of the prospects that are currently dazzling fans and experts in training camp.
“It’s a tough thing because he’s a long-time veteran, so we’ll see what happens with that, what happens next,” head coach Jeremy Colliton told media.
Connolly had a goal and an assist in 10 games with the Blackhawks after being acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers last spring.
Incidentally, one of the players that Connolly came to Chicago with may end up securing a roster spot, as Henrik Borgstrom has shown plenty of ability both in the face-off dot and in offensive zone play this preseason. He could potentially lock down a fourth-line center role with the Blackhawks, which would be a huge boost to the team’s already stellar depth at that position.
Jujhar Khaira, Adam Gaudette, Mackenzie Entwistle and Lukas Reichel are among the other Blackhawks forwards likely competing for roster spots.
With the move, the Blackhawks now have 25 forwards on their roster.
Wyatt Kalynuk Suffers Ankle Injury, Likely Out for Several Weeks
Another area of intrigue for the Blackhawks in the preseason has been the competition for the bottom two spots in their defensive starting lineup, and one of the main competitors for that role suffered an ankle injury in practice Tuesday.
Wyatt Kalynuk, who had four goals and five assists in 21 games with the Blackhawks last season, will miss at least a couple of weeks with the injury, according to Colliton. The former seventh-round pick joined the Blackhawks as a college free agent last year, and immediately made a strong impact on the roster, with some hoping that he could make a big jump in production this season.
With Kalynuk now out of the mix, focus intensifies on Caleb Jones, Ian Mitchell, Riley Stillman and Alec Regula, with at least two of those players set to lock up spots in the opening night lineup against Colorado.
Arvid Soderblom Assigned to Rockford
The Blackhawks made one other official roster move on Tuesday, assigning goaltender Arvid Soderblom to the IceHogs.
The Swedish-born netminder appeared in 22 games last season with Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Hockey League, with a 2.03 goals against average and a .922 save percentage.
With the roster move, the Blackhawks now have four goaltenders on their training camp roster. Marc-Andre Fleury is penciled in as the starter, and in all likelihood Kevin Lankinen will serve as his backup, leaving the fates of Collin Delia and Malcolm Subban in question.