Injury-plagued Blackhawks shuffle roster ahead of road trip
The injury-plagued Blackhawks made several roster moves Monday before leaving on a three-game road trip that begins in Vegas on Tuesday.
Andrew Shaw, who is in the concussion protocol, was placed on long-term injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 30, meaning he can't return until Dec. 27 when the Hawks host the Islanders.
The Hawks also recalled defenseman Adam Boqvist and forward Matthew Highmore from Rockford. Boqvist had a six-game run from Nov. 2-13 in which he scored 1 goal and averaged 14.5 minutes of ice time.
"He's done well down there," said coach Jeremy Colliton. "Reports have been good and I've had a chance to watch a couple games, too. ... Hopefully that process continues and can continue here."
Boqvist expects to be more comfortable in his second go-round at the NHL level.
"I think I kind of know how to play (here) now," he said after the Hawks held an optional practice at Fifth Third Arena on Monday. "I got six games playing with Duncs (Duncan Keith) and Mats (Olli Maatta). They helped me a lot as well. I know kind of what is going (on) out there now, so it's good."
Adding Boqvist means the Hawks will carry eight defensemen. Maatta, who has missed three games, is still trying to get his energy back after a bout with the flu. He is likely questionable to face Vegas.
Who wants it?
There's a winger spot open on the Hawks' top line for anyone who wants to grab hold of it and not let go.
Alex Nylander was given that opportunity for more than a month, but he was demoted to the third line during a shootout loss to Arizona on Sunday. In his place was Dominik Kubalik, whose first-period goal gave the Hawks a 3-1 lead.
Kubalik (7G, 4A) has looked good in spurts this season, but he's also been fairly inconsistent -- just like most of Jeremy Colliton's young forwards. So don't be surprised to see Colliton give a number of players a chance to play with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad over the coming days and weeks.
"Different guys are going to get opportunity based on how they're playing, and that's just part of the process we're going through," Colliton said. "We'd like to have a top 9, a top 12. ... Look at the top teams in the league -- a lot of them have that depth where it's hard to match up.
We have a lot of young players who have the potential to break through and do that for us. It's just a race to try to make that happen."
He said it:
"I'm a guy that's willing to do that for my teammates. ... It's more just a personal thing for me; I'm not going to sit back and let somebody get taken advantage of, whether it's on the ice or walking down the streets in Chicago."
-- Defenseman Dennis Gilbert on why he went decided to fight Arizona's Jason Demers after Demers' hit on Alex DeBrincat on Sunday