Breaking News Bar
updated: 10/26/2013 11:06 PM

Mills latest Blackhawk to get shot at replacing Frolik

Success - Article sent! close

The Blackhawks still are trying to replace Michael Frolik as a fourth-line penalty killer.

It's a search that has taken them through Joakim Nordstrom, Ben Smith and Brandon Saad.

Now Brad Mills gets his chance.

"Millsy is an experienced guy; he's been around," Quenneville said of the 30-year-old right wing. "We thought he had a real good camp and had a real nice presence at Rockford toward the end of last year. He's a right shot, can take faceoffs, kill penalties he can fill that niche that we're looking for.

"Our PK has been a work in progress this year. It hasn't been as predictable or as dependable as we saw last year. We're trying to nail it. Millsy is going to get a chance, and we can use Saad there as well, but that one spot we're still looking to fill."

Mills was signed to a one-year contract Friday before being recalled from Rockford.

"I kind of felt this was coming, and that helps to motivate you," he said. "I think what I did here in the preseason and in training camp kind of gave the coaches and the guys here who haven't seen me play a taste of my game. I think I showed them what I can bring, just a hard-nosed, intense, physical guy."

Mills had 1 career NHL goal before Saturday -- against the Hawks and Marty Turco in the United Center.

"This building, hopefully, is a good place for me," Mills said.

Staying hot:

Jeremy Morin also was in the lineup following his Friday recall from Rockford and looking to pick up where he left off in the minors, where he had 4 goals and 4 assists in the first eight games.

"Mo's had a real nice start to the season down there," Joel Quenneville said. "When you were looking at who's going to make our team coming out of camp, there were four or five guys all with a chance. They were all comparable exiting camp as far as who was deserving.

"He gives us a little bit of something. He's got speed and quickness and can score goals. Things happen when he's out there."

Morin went down with a good attitude, and it paid off.

"It's always nice to get that call and come here and put on that uniform," he said. "Now I need to prove I can play at this level. You want to be up here; that's the goal."

Handzus out:

The Hawks will be without center Michal Handzus for "more than a couple days," according to Joel Quenneville, with an upper-body injury. "He could be out for a little bit; we'll see," Quenneville said.

Handzus has battled wrist problems since last year in the playoffs.

With Handzus out at least the next two games -- Monday at Minnesota and Tuesday at home against Ottawa -- Marcus Kruger was expected to get the majority of playing time as second-line center.

"Krugs is a reliable guy," Quenneville said. "Offensively, I don't think we've given him too many opportunities to play up there, but he's capable. I think that line was OK (Handzus, Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane), but not a lot was happening there. Hopefully we can get a little spark there."

Upon further review:

Consider goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on notice that he needs to be better than he was in Thursday's 6-5 overtime loss at Tampa Bay.

"We'll definitely swipe (the slate) clean, but when you see what happened we're definitely not pleased, knowing we're expecting more," Joel Quenneville said. "Let's move forward in a positive way but knowing that's not good enough."

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.