As the Blackhawks’ Olympians return to North American ice and fans prepare for the Stadium Series game at Soldier Field this weekend, the trade deadline is coming soon (March 5). The Hawks will likely see a name or two added to their roster in the coming days, but it might not be from outside the organization.
Multiple Chicago media outlets reported on Tuesday that the Hawks will continue to give forward Marian Hossa days off down the stretch. Between Hossa getting rest and Michal Handzus being ancient, and the Hawks having only 13 forwards on their NHL roster, GM Stan Bowman will need to add a body up front.
Dumping Mike Kostka provides a little more flexibility under the cap, but the Hawks still don’t have much room to work with over the next week.
There will be rumors over the next week – some more ridiculous than others – but there are a few players in Rockford that are more likely to get a shot in Chicago than someone outside the organization.
Jeremy Morin had 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) in his last nine games entering Tuesday night, and he added two more goals for the IceHogs tonight. He now has 20 goals on the season and played well with the Hawks earlier this season (five points in 15 games).
Pierre-Marc Bouchard is an intriguing player to keep an eye on for possible promotion as well. Before Tuesday night’s game, Bouchard had one goal and eight assists in his first six games with Rockford since being acquired.
Joakim Nordstrom, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Tuesday, has been playing very well lately and made the Opening Night roster in Chicago. He scored his 15th goal of the season only 41 seconds into Tuesday night’s Rockford game.
And Brandon Pirri might be on the block after the Hawks acquired Peter Regin, especially with word that Regin will see time on the second line. But he has shown the ability to produce at the NHL level in spite of his role varying from period to period when on the NHL roster.