Defenseman Steve Montador, who hasn’t played in a game in almost a year because of concussion-like symptoms, was cleared Wednesday to return to the Blackhawks’ lineup.
To make room for Montador, who was activated but not in the lineup against Colorado, winger Brandon Bollig was assigned to Rockford.
Montador hasn’t played since March 27, 2012, when he suffered a second concussion against New Jersey. That was his first game back in the lineup after missing 22 games with a concussion.
Montador was hurt again in practice during the lockout and missed the first 23 games of this season.
“He’s available,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
Montador gives the Hawks eight defensemen, which Quenneville views as a luxury.
“The first seven that we have played to date have played extremely well,” Quenneville said. “When I have to sit one out right now it’s a tough decision. They’re all deserving of playing. We’ll see how Monty works his way in, but certainly the group we’re playing right now we’re very happy with.
“You never have enough defensemen. That’s one area and position your depth is going to get challenged over the course of the season.”
Montador may or may not go to Colorado for Friday’s game with the Avs.
“I’m not saying he’s not going,” Quenneville said. “We’ll look at it to see if he’s going to play. He might not play.”
Quenneville thinks that even without Bollig there is plenty of toughness on the team.
“I think we’ve got plenty of toughness with Danny Carcillo and Jamal Mayers,” Quenneville said. “We have some internal toughness as well. We have a competitive group.”
Jonathan Toews smiled when asked about Tuesday’s ceremony celebrating Marian Hossa’s 1,000th game.
“It was awesome, especially with the whole crowd chanting his name,” Toews said. “We all know how special a player he is. I couldn’t be happier for a guy like that when you know how good of a friend, teammate and a guy he is.”
Toews looks forward to the day he plays 1,000 games.
“I hope I can only be so lucky,” Toews said. “For now, to play alongside a guy like that is a huge privilege.”
Rookie Brandon “Man Child” Saad’s 3-point night in Tuesday’s win over Minnesota was still a hot topic for his teammates a day later.
“We call him MC (Man Child) for a reason,” Bryan Bickell said. “He’s 20 years old and so strong for a young guy. He’s got a lot to build still, but there is a good future for him.”
Bickell was coming off a 2-goal game against the Wild, the first 2-goal game of his career.
“I’ve been passing more than I’m shooting, but I think my strength is my shot,” Bickell said. “I’ve been giving it to (Viktor) Stalberg and (Andrew) Shaw because they’re playing great.
“When I was a kid I worked a lot on my shot. I didn’t play video games or anything like that, but that’s what my dad wanted me to do, and it has paid off.”
Frolik still out:
Michael Frolik sat out his second straight game with the flu. Joel Quenneville called him questionable for Friday’s rematch with the Avs.
The Hawks don’t want a sick player on the plane with guys who aren’t sick.
“That’s part of it,” Quenneville said.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.