Blackhawks Announce Roster Moves

On Tuesday the Blackhawks announced more roster moves.

Forwards Phillip Danault, Drew LeBlanc, Terry Broadhurst, Byron Froese and goaltender Antti Raanta were assigned to Rockford.

Forward Kyle Beach cleared waivers and has also been assigned to the IceHogs.

Forwards Brad Mills and Maxim Shalunov were also released from training camp. They will report to Rockford; Mills on an AHL contract and Shalunov on a tryout agreement.

The Hawks also placed defenseman Theo Peckham and forward Brad Winchester on waivers.

Chicago’s training camp roster is now at 28 players.

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46 Responses to Blackhawks Announce Roster Moves

  1. Windy City Z says:

    Thank goodness, I was starting to worry that Winchester was going to make the team and take a spot from B. Smith, J. Hayes, J. Morin, J. Nordstrom, or B. Pirri.

  2. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Very revealing that Beach cleared waivers. The league has officially spoken on any future he was to have in the NHL.

    I think Hayes and Morin are locks. I’m not a fan of Smith, but I think he is safe too. Pirri doesn’t belong at this level (healthy or not), but I suspect he is in a fair race with Nordstrom for a final spot. It will be interesting to see how that pans out.

  3. Mike says:

    These moves make perfect sense. All these players will get great playing time in Rockford. It would be great to see the Icehogs win a lot of games. I know that’s not the ultimate goal, but sure adds to the fun.

  4. wall says:

    Really hope Shalunov signs w/ Rockford… thought he showed some skill, has size, and he is only 20… put up some big numbers in Russian Jrs.- like to see him here!

    The final 5… Morin is a lock, Smith= safest + IQ, Hayes=showed skating improvement but still is awkward at times, Pirri isn’t going to win a board battle, Nordstrom- the long shot- but honestly might be the Best Pure Role player of the bunch!!! and is the quickest/most agile skater/forechecker without a doubt!!! when/if he sticks this… will be very up setting for one of the other 3!

  5. Morrison says:

    Like you stated, has 26 played any scrimmages. If anyone is on IR, their all in.

    25 was never going to make 23man, he s 52 backup…

  6. Ryan says:

    Tab – with Peckham and Winchester placed on waivers isn’t the roster at 26?

  7. John B. says:

    Did any of you guys think that LeBlanc would make the team? Do you think he has any future with the Hawks?

  8. Tab Bamford says:

    re: Ryan – once they clear, yes.

    re: John – LeBlanc has good instincts but needs to be stronger on his skates imo. Rockford is a great situation for him.

  9. scottie p says:

    Pirri morin smith hayes. Those will be your new hawks.

  10. PaulieT says:

    Yeah, I think LeBlanc has a future with the team. Too quick to give up on him after a cup of coffee late last season. He’s gotta get some seasoning plus this is a franchise with a ton of depth in front of him, many of whom also paid their dues.

  11. Dickie Dunn says:

    From what I’ve seen, Nordstrom and Smith should be “locks”. Hayes (I agree with Wall) “still is awkward at times” – like his size, though. Maybe Morin would be the better “fit”? Does anyone think LeBlanc seems too slow to play the Hawks’ game?

    I read Q was considering keeping an 8th d-man – WHY? Just “talk”…?

    Less than a week – Go Hawks!!

  12. Tab Bamford says:

    Nordstrom, 21, has two years left on his ELC. His work on PK next to Kruger is impossible to ignore during the preseason… but, with that being said, do the Hawks carry him over a more offensively dynamic player like Morin? I’m not sure. Hayes and Smith are the only 2 clear “locks” in my opinion. They have been the best Rockford guys in camp, with Morin & Nordstrom being very good as well. Pirri is a wild card.

  13. Sr. Brad says:

    IMO, Morin is the best of the bunch…Bowman specifically targeted him with the Buff trade to Atlanta…Morin has some size, grit, a tendency to go hard to the net, has a great shot, can handle the puck, can skate, likes to take the body and is SMART…IMO Morin has a chance to become a perennial 30+ goal scorer in the league and that’s why he has to be on the 3rd line with Shaw and Saad…that line could put up 65+ goals in the coming season…

    Smith is a lock, because he is an all around good hockey player and Q can trust him in almost any situation…Q knows what he is getting…Hayes is a lock because of his size and emerging speed…but its Hayes new attitude about becoming Bickell 2.0 that intrigues the Hawks the most…the best place for Hayes then is to be on the Hawks with Q pushing his buttons ensuring that he is consistent in his taking the body first approach…that leaves Nordstrom…a player I have talked about for the last 6 months…I like him a lot because he is SMART and not afraid like Swedes can be when they first come over…he can play almost any position and almost any role making him very valuable…

    That leaves Pirri, who played quite well in Pittsburgh but really hasn’t had a chance to prove anything to Q at this point…but with Hossa and Zus still mending, and the Saad/LeBlance experiments at 2nd line centre not working out, I think the Hawks use this “opportunity” to give Brandon every chance in the world to succeed as the 2nd line centre entering into the season…

    So the Hossa/Zus “injuries”will not hurt us, in fact they may be a blessing in disguise as it may give the Hawks a chance to bring all 5 to the roster and like Andrew Shaw 2 years ago, none of them may ever look back…

    Tonight’s game should tell us a lot more…

  14. JS says:

    A quick, funny thought.

    This Hawks team, no matter who makes it from Rockford, will be the best team they have dressed in the last decade. Maybe I’m wrong in my opinion, but I don’t think they have a weak spot on the roster.

  15. Sr. Brad says:

    JS, I said that too the other day…we have won 2 Cups in 4 years and have not started any season with a roster this good and deep…with so many character and vital role players…its very impressive…

    And I can’t stop thinking about the last 2 games I watched with Froese in them…that kid might become our 2nd line Centre at some point this season…he has been so impressive without a ton of ice time…

  16. JS says:

    I would honestly rather have Hossa and Handzus sit out until after Christmas so they are feeling fresher for the playoffs and to give some more of the kids a good look. Honestly, I’d prefer to have no one on the team play more than 65 games… but that isn’t really possible.

  17. Tab Bamford says:

    fwiw, Tim Sassone reporting on Wednesday morning that Nordstrom was skating on a fourth line w/ Bollig & Kruger at practice while Morin & Pirri were freelancing… intriguing.

    Quenneville also indicated that Hossa “should” skate on Thursday.

    Also, Peckham & Winchester cleared waivers and were formally assigned to Rockford.

  18. Tab Bamford says:

    re: Hossa & Handzus – we all agree that they need to be healthy in April, May & June. If that means missing games early in the season, so be it.

    Christmas might be a little too conservative for my taste, however. Let’s get em healthy and work them back into the mix at an appropriate speed. If that’s Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas that’s fine… as long as objective #1 (healthy in April, May & June) is met.

    My hope is that Hossa seriously considers sitting out the Olympics with the postseason in mind. He’s played A TON of games in the last 5 years and could use a month off.

  19. ebonyraptor says:

    hmmm … interesting. I like that Nordstrom was on the 4th line – hopefully that means he’s got a good chance to open the season there.

    Since Hossa wasn’t skating today, then one of Smith or Hayes took his spot on the second line with the other at RW on the 3rd line. Also with Pirri not on a line and Kruger on the 4th line it sounds like Handzus was at 2C. It seems te handwriting is on the wall for the 2C spot to open the season.

  20. Tim G says:

    ER- Per the Blackhawks Twitter, Zus was infact at the 2C. Hayes was playing on the 2nd and Smith was on the 3rd with Saad/Shaw. I think that says more to Smith being “kept in his spot” so he can get as much time with his actually linemates than “Hayes being ahead of Smith”.

  21. Sr. Brad says:

    If the Hawks are considering skating Kruger and Nordstrom together, then Bollig as the other winger makes a lot of sense…he will keep things honest for the 2 Swedes…but IMO, Morin is simply too good to not play.

  22. BigsmokeJ says:

    I mentioned this the other day that both Zues and Hossa should be IR’d until at least X-mas. As Tab stated Hossa has played a ton of games over the last 5 yrs and needs the rest. Zues has played a lot of years and having him and Hossa refreshed and ready for the playoffs is one of the keys.
    The goal with this team isn’t to be the best in the regular season but the best come playoff time. I hope Q gets that and gives the young guys the time to play right now.
    I don’t care if they finish even 3rd in the conference, which I don’t think will happen, if all the guys are healthy going into the playoffs I don’t see how they can be beat in a 7 game playoff.

    As Brad and JS stated this is the deepest this organization has been in my life time there is no need to go out all gang busters, use the deep and keep guys fresh for when it matters.

    It’s so great to be a hawk fan at this time, lets all enjoy it.

  23. ebonyraptor says:

    Thanks TimG, and I also think Hayes at 2RW and Smith at 3RW indicates Smith is playing there on opening day – ahead of both Morin and Hayes.

    I still wonder who will play 2C when Handzus doesn’t play. Does Q keep Pirri on the roster for a Handzus/Pirri tandem at 2C?

  24. Morrison says:

    Yea, Im thinking 37 is in when 26 takes her easy. Q likes to keep regular line(20-65-28) together, 22 & 11 in for Hossa & 52 as needed & rotating…

    Hossa sitting out olympics, good call.

    Organization deep ness is only going to get moar deeper… T is coming.

  25. Ryan says:

    So I just read today that Pirri has been battling through a lower body injury in camp and that is why he has only played in one preseason game. Was this disclosed earlier? Cause this was the first I knew anything about it. If Pirri isn’t 100% then maybe it would be better for him to start in Rockford.

  26. wall says:

    ER- that is what I see… Hoss and Zus will miss a lot of games-
    Hawks will keep Pirri around to see what he can do- with a short leash…

    I was at practice today-
    Tab totally agree on 81/26 sitting- Hoss spent most of practice in training room.

    Nordstrom- is too good and versatile, and I have been proclaiming him to be the best skater of all the prospects not named TT- Sounds crazy- but he might actually see some time as 2nd Center if 26/37 stink it up!!!

    Another prediction- Shalunov will knock out one of these guys (not Nordstrom) in 2 years or less.

    Brad and JS- with all due respect- this team is missing a lot of speed and IQ- and Hoss is going to miss a lot of time/may never be the same… I do see these prospects w/ better hands… but they are not better/quicker skaters!!! and we will see how smart they are! So I am not going to agree with this is the Best Team we have put on the ice.
    On a Positive note… With Nordstrom in the mix… they are a lot better- the kid is young/new to the NHL and will make mistakes… but he will turn out to be a great role player… and very versatile. I am still not convinced that Hayes/Pirri/Smith can skate with the big boys!!!

    Brian Bickell – makes almost as much as the 3rd and 4th lines combined (skating today)!!! SB has done a pretty good job.

  27. bollandio says:

    All the hype about the up and coming Icehogs will play out.. however, I just don’t understand why, despite all the talent, the Hogs have been such a crap AHL team, record-wise. Can someone please enlighten me?

  28. wall says:

    bollandio- Agreed!
    Nordstrom is the only one who is not guilty by association. And can skate as well as some of the players lost.

  29. Sr. Brad says:

    Bollandio, it is quite simple…because the Hawks as an organization are NOT looking for Rockford to win Calder Cups…they hire certain coaches who teach well…the purpose of Rockford is to get the prospects playing the same style of hockey we do in the show…this is why we have had such great success with “plug and play” call ups…and I completely agree with this philosophy…the only goal in Rockford should be to produce our drafts picks as NHL ready players…

  30. Dickie Dunn says:

    “Hossa & Handzus – we all agree that they need to be healthy in April, May & June. If that means missing games early in the season, so be it. Christmas might be a little too conservative for my taste, however. Let’s get em healthy and work them back into the mix at an appropriate speed. If that’s Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas that’s fine… as long as objective #1 (healthy in April, May & June) is met. My hope is that Hossa seriously considers sitting out the Olympics with the postseason in mind. He’s played A TON of games in the last 5 years and could use a month off.” — Absolutely right! The Hawks have the depth to cover for them.

  31. bollandio says:

    Brad.. that makes sense IF we are smarter than all other organizations.
    Logically, however, what organization wouldn’t follow that same philosophy? What would motivate any AHL team to play for the Calder?
    It would be interesting to find out how many teams within “shuffle” distance of their parent team compete standings-wise.

  32. EbonyRaptor says:

    bollandio: your question – “It would be interesting to find out how many teams within “shuffle” distance of their parent team compete standings-wise.” – is a good one.

  33. wall says:

    Brad- I understand and agree w/ your point about focus on Hogs should be teaching…
    BUT if Hogs are Truly loaded/talented, and these Player/Prospects are truly ready for NHL play…
    – perhaps there should be some better results.

    Here is the way I see things- to be effective in NHL
    1.) you have super skills (like Kane)
    2.) you have superior skating speed/agility or both (Stalberg, Frolik, Nordstrom, Kruger) Role player
    3.) intangibles- Like Compete factor, IQ, or face-offs, or size, PK ( paired w/ a little of 1 or 2) (Handzus, John Madden) Role Player
    4.) all of above= HOF (Hossa)

    Now I ask where do Pirri, Hayes, Smith fall??? IMO at best Smith is #3- Morin has an A+ shot… Hayes has Size… good news is they can still be effective Role players- but We still need to see there IQ and compete/will factor… Morin and Smith “look” competitive… Pirri and Hayes- the jury is still out.

    I do think Hawks have more complete (#1-#3 players coming up) Danault, TT, Hartman, Johns, Ross, Fournier… they all skate better for one… Danault and Ross have huge hearts/will. The “skating” is very important in Hawks system that is why Nordstrom is leap-frogging “the Rockford” boys!!!

    The Skating, IQ and “Compete” is why Shaw leap-frogged all these guys…

    So I agree with the Italian- David Bolland-io!!!

  34. JS says:

    Hawks have won 2 of the last 4 Stanley Cups and looking forward are in better shape than any other organization to continue the trend. I’m guessing they are smarter than a lot of the other organizations.

    Rockford is also one of the younger teams in the AHL. I imagine they would have done a bit better with a full year of Leddy, Saad, Shaw, Kruger, etc.

    Anyway, about the intelligence/speed you were talking about, Wall-

    They will miss the speed of Stalberg and Frolik, but any warm body will likely be an improvement from Bolland. Nevermind his injury, statistically he was a complete disaster the last few seasons, even while playing with PATRICK KANE AND SHARP. The Corpse of Handzus was an upgrade at center from him. Think about that.

    And as far as replacing Stalberg and Frolik… it really shouldn’t be that difficult of a task. Ben Smith/Morin/Hayes might not be as fast, but they definitely have a better ability to finish and play in the offensive zone.

    Hossa being out certainly hurts in the regular season, but I imagine he’ll be better come playoff time, if not… they still have a really good Top 6. Sharp should actually be healthy this year. Kane seems to be off the drugs and interested in playing two way hockey.

    Anyway, I should get back to work.

  35. Peter says:

    To further JS’ point with a thought of my own is I think the biggest loss from the duo of Stalberg and Frolik was Frolik’s PK duty as a stud last year. That is the only drop off I see that could potentially be a problem. I think it can be replaced, but it might take a little time. However, the PK duty is probably what is keeping Nordstrom around right now. The offensive production of Stalberg and Frolik will not be missed. I am excited to see if any of the “replacements” can get a breakaway and pot it for a change.

  36. ebonyraptor says:

    I agree that Morin, Smith, Pirri and Hayes all probably have better offensive skills than Stalberg and Frolik, but the speed factor is not so easily compensated for simply by having better finishing ability around the net. In my opinion, both the 3rd and 4th lines last season were effective more so because of their speed than their goal scoring. The 3rd line was arguably the best 3rd line in the league last year and it started with their ability to get in on the forecheck and beat the opponent to the puck – and Stalberg was the main man in that regard. The 3rd line spent most of their shift in the offensive zone because the got the puck with their speed and held on to it. Even if they didn’t score – neither did the opponent. The 4th line was less accomplished at that but still fairly successful and Frolik was the main guy on the forecheck because of his speed. Kruger is tenacious but I don’t think he’s a burner – probably more like average NHL calibre speed. It was mostly Frolik that caused the initial disruption on the forecheck, just like it was mostly Stalberg on the 3rd line. The ramification of a less effective forecheck means less puck possesion time in the offensive zone and more time spent in the defensive zone when the opponent won the race to the loose puck.

    I’m not predicting doom and gloom – but I think the loss of Stalberg and Frolik will be felt at even strength more than simply subtracting their scoring. It’s why I advocate Nordstrom over the other guys – because he brings more of a speed/quickness element than the rest of those guys.

  37. JS says:

    You think a 3rd line of Saad, Shaw, and Ben Smith is noticably slower than Bickell, Shaw, and Stalberg?

  38. Peter says:

    ER, Stalberg has world class speed. No argument there. However, I think Shaw and Bickell were more key to the offensive zone cycle than Stalberg…especially when teams had their feet wet at the end of the year. Stalberg was great taking the puck from Dzone to Ozone and that is probably where the team will miss him the most (which is what I believe you said above). I just think overall we are looking at a better player with his replacement. I do not think the offensive zone time will decrease all that much with the new 3rd line…especially if Saad is there.

    I think the biggest issues we face are
    1) PP
    2) 2C
    3) 3rd line composition
    4) 4th line composition

    IMO our 3 and 4th biggest problems are really not that big a problem compared to what other teams are facing. #1 is troubling…

  39. ebonyraptor says:

    JS – yes I do. Shaw=Shaw. Saad may be a bit faster than Bickell, but neglible. Stalberg is light years faster than Smith.

    Peter, while Bickell and Shaw were arguably better puck handlers than Stalberg and therefore better at keeping the cycle going once it was started – Stalberg was the one that usually got it going in the first place. He got to loose pucks faster and more consistently than the other two combined. That will be missed and no way replaced by Smith or whoever plays on the 3rd line.

  40. Tab Bamford says:

    Hossa will not play Saturday. With no preseason games under his belt, a short-term trip to IR could happen, which would open the door for an extra body making the lineup to start the season. Also, fwiw, here are the lines from Thursday morning practice:


    Yes, Hayes & Smith weren’t on a line. My (fairly safe) assumption is that they have already made the team. A third line of Saad-Kruger-Shaw could be a lot of fun to watch, and giving Morin a shot w/ Sharp is a nice spot for him. Quenneville wouldn’t commit to whether or not Handzus would play Saturday after confirming that Hossa was out.

    to the discussion about how this year’s roster could compare with last year’s, I agree that Stalberg has world class speed. But Smith makes up for the speed difference by having a significantly higher Hockey IQ and much better hands. He’s also much more responsible in his own zone; remember all those games Stalberg watched during the playoffs? Stalberg is a unique combination of top-six speed and 13th forward hands/brain. Smith might physically compare to Frolik to the naked eye, but the coaches trust him in most situations.

  41. ebonyraptor says:

    I won’t continue to belabor this point, but allow me one more comment regarding speed vs hockey IQ – hockey IQ doesn’t get you from point A to point B faster than anyone else on the ice – speed does. The loose pucks that Stalberg routinely beat everyone on the ice to included plenty of other players with hockey IQs higher than his (and I suspect not lower than Smith’s). Yes, Smith will provide a better overall game than Stalberg – no arguement from me on that. But, in terms of puck possession time due to getting to a loose puck before the other team gets to it – Stalberg will be missed and no amount of hockey IQ will make up for the difference.

  42. bollandio says:

    I’ll miss Stals amazing speed. I won’t miss his small hockey brain nor his irritatingly inconsistent play.
    I’ll miss Fro’s amazing energy, but not his embarrassingly weak-ass wristers off the rush.
    I’ll miss Bolly’s sociopathy and ADHD, but most of all when we play the Sisters. I’m keeping the sweater!

  43. BigSmokej says:

    ER – I really finding it hard to believe that a guy who couldn’t play responsible hockey in the playoffs and was benched, has now turned into the most unreplaceable player from last year’s team.
    I’m sorry I’m not buying what you’re selling.

  44. wall says:

    ER and Bollandio- Agreed.
    ER -well said.

    Tab- I know what you are saying – Hawks are trading better speed/fore check for Better shooters. We will see how it shakes out- I am siding w/ ER- the Puck chasing aspect will be missed- especially if team still is weak at the dot- and back-checking will also be missed!

  45. Tim G says:

    Friday morning line rushes…

    5th line- Morin/Pirri/Hayes

  46. bollandio says:

    Not sure if anything is to be gleaned from this.. other than the Western teams pay big-ass airfares when they call/send players up/down.
    The mileage is from Google Maps..


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