Blackhawks Roster Moves: Internal Promotion Candidates

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.

Jeremy+Morin

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.

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32 Responses to Blackhawks Roster Moves: Internal Promotion Candidates

  1. Anthony Lyen says:

    Just wanted an opinion: even though Mark McNeill has been pretty decent in Rockford so far, is it fair to say he won’t get an opportunity this season (only asking for a couple games to see how he does)? He could still use a couple years to further develop his game, but I think it’d be nice to see how he does for just 1-3 games with the Hawks. With Hayes having a decent season with BC, Teravainen ready and waiting, and Pirri making the rounds, McNeill seems to have gotten less attention lately.

  2. noonan96 says:

    I live in Kitchener-Waterloo and went to a Kit. Ranger game tonight to see Ryan Hartman. I had great seats. It was an important game for both teams and Plymouth pretty well put the Rangers out of the playoffs with the win. They are now 7 points up.

    On the plus side Hartman has definite skills. He really focused a lot of being back in the defensive end and made nice passes for his two points. He skates pretty well, almost effortless.
    What surprised me was I didn’t see any of the grit or nastiness that I heard about. He didn’t engage physically all night and seemed to float at times. Didn’t fight for pucks, stayed out of the corners. (he was playing right wing). For such a big game I didn’t sense the urgency. I did catch one of the world junior national games on TV and saw a more engaged player in Europe.
    I saw Shaw and Ross a lot at the Aud. in Kitchener and they battled-every night.

  3. Peter says:

    I was at the Iowa vs. Rockford game tonight. #1, the Iowa Wild were just that with their passes. I have no idea the composition of the team (a lot I new players together, roster shuttling, what have you), but they were not very good. Their passes were not crisp and the Ice Hogs looked like the better team. #2 Clendening was the best player on the ice. His ability an awareness actually had him make two plays that would have been horrible in the NHL, but he could get away with in the AHL. I think his game transitions well to the Blackhawks. Dahlbeck for the defense played well too. #3 Pirri and Morin were the best forwards with Nordstrom and the Broadhurst brothers just behind them. Pirri and Morin cycled a lot with one another generating a lot of offensive opportunities. McNeil played a power forward type role and for him to do that in the NHL, he will have to get a lot stronger. Finally, LaBarra(?) played well in net and is a good extra goalie to have.

    Oh, the Wild were so bad that the Ice Hogs could make wholesale line changes between forwards and d-men while retaining possession of the puck in the o-zone. It was incredible.

  4. wall says:

    Anthony- McNeill has a lot to learn… one of the Few Hogs that is a Minus player this year… I am not impressed w Him… only thing he has going for him is his size in a very average to small prospect pool…

    Peter- are you still drunk? Cdening was the best player…yet he made two plays “with his ability/awareness that would have been horrible in NHL”??? I find Shakespeare easier to read!!! Just givin ya shit.

  5. ebonyraptor says:

    NHL hockey has resumed – ain’t life grand.

    How bout them Hogs! Mercy! They just might make the playoffs. Wouldn’t that be something new? Sure hope Icehog playoffs trumps Black Aces sitting in the press box.

    Sure is quiet on the trading front. Still got a week or so to go but I thought there would be something happening right out of the Olympic break – not for the Hawks, but across the league. So much for the Callahan trade being imminent, unless imminemt meant sometime in our lifetime.

    Jokerit resumes league play tomorrow after the Olympic break. Anxious to see if the two week layoff cooled TT’s scoring down. There’s only 7 games left in the regular season – it would be nice for him to stay in the top-10 in scoring (he’s currently tied for 7th). It would be even nicer to see him play well in the playoffs and help lead his team.

    Reports are positive and I have a good feeling that Bickell will play better after this rest. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  6. Tim G says:

    Morin has been the had hand, but you got to think that they traded for PMB for a reason. I think its probably likely we see both get good shots here in the coming weeks in an effort to keep our roster from tiring out.

    Anthony- I like what McNeil has shown and what he “could be”… but like Wall said, he still has alot to learn and has a long way to go before cracking the roster. Like you said, TT and Hayes are probably both ahead of him. And as long as Pirri is here, Pirri will be the shuttle guy. Thats not to say Mcneil is good and that he cant make it with the hawks… its just that he would REALLY need to step his game to the next level.

  7. Peter says:

    Wall, it was a 5:35 PM puck drop and the $2 beers only lasted through the first period…so I had to forgo quality for quantity.

    To be slightly more specific, Clendening came from the right side to the left side in the offensive zone and created a turnover for the Ice Hogs before his partner got to the other side…it was Clendening’s fault because I am sure his partner didn’t know he would be coming over. Clendening got away with it because Iowa couldn’t pass tape to tape to save their lives. His second giant mistake was trying a cross ice pass from his defensive zone to the blue line while his partner was changing. The pass was intercepted, but Clendening went right to the charging player and took it away from him. These were the calculated risks that NHL players would have destroyed him with…but I think he knew the level of competition he was facing and took some chances.

  8. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Let’s hope that Regin has the skill to take the 2nd line center position and run with it. However, call me skeptical, I just don’t see how 27 yr old, 3rd rounder who has 62 career points in 200+ games is going to be the answer. Add in the fact he has only been a + player in 1 season is also cause for concern. I just wish the Hawks would address 2nd line center position once and for all.

  9. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    One more comment Regin reminds me of a poor mans Frans Nielsen, minus the shootout success, and regular season scoring.

  10. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    According to The 4th period 10 teams have inquired about Ryan Kesler. Let’s hope the Hawks were one of them. That’s a name the gets me much more excited! Good player and a decent salary that would fit in Chicago. He has another 2 yrs and 8 million remaining on his salary. Kesler would be absolutely perfect for the Hawks window with their minor league talent at center. Not to mention I felt he and Kane had a good Olympics.

  11. MS says:

    Peter and Noonan – Thanks for the first hand accounts of the prospects. Regarding Hartman I felt he was one of the best players at the WJC . Thought he skated and agitated very well but needed to improve his finishing at the net.

    SSHM – I heard the reports on Kesler and felt the same way. I have to believe it would be a major longshot and SB would have to put together quite a package (top 4 D-man, top prospects/draft choice) for the Canucks to consider moving him to the Hawks. It would be quite the coup if it could be pulled off.

  12. Mike says:

    I am with SSHM on Regin. He has not shown the ability to be a consistent top 6 forward in his NHL career. He has really not earned the right to play with 2 world class forwards who will make him look better than he is……if that makes any sense. The Hawks’ success over the past 6 years has come mostly from within the system. SB’s gonna change that for an unproven player like Regin????

    Kesler is a pipe dream for a couple of reasons….although the timing does seem appropriate at 2 years. However, regardless of what prospects would go the Hawks would have to dump $4mm from their current roster. Who would that be??

    This team took chances in 2010 with a few prospects who helped the team win the Cup. SB and Q should look at this year the same way IMO. Regin nor PMB will not win us the cup. Morin, Pirri, Nordstrom will not lose us the Cup. Go with the home grown boys!

  13. Ernie says:

    Jokerit returned to action today and won 5-1. Teravainen was absent from the score sheet, because he did not play. After a ten day layoff I find it odd he didn’t play.

  14. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Kesler is a huge wild card in this years playoffs, if the Knuckleheads decide to move him to another west team that cause a huge swing. Imagine him on STL or ANA(both of which are rumored to be interested), he instantly makes them the top contender in the West. If the Hawks are serious about Kesler they would most likely need to include a dman off the roster ( Leddy or Oduya) plus and a few top prospects and/or draft picks.

    Realistically this could work. Clendening is ready now. Johns isn’t too far behind. Plus it seems like Oduya is always on the move and is Nick Leddy really the answer? Its seems like Hawks fans have been waiting along time for him to develop.

    As for the Hawks prospects, SB has created a log game in the minor leagues and if it takes 2 prospect and a roster player for Kesler so be it. The Hawks are flush with D talent. IMO there are really 2 untouchables in the Hawks minor leagues (Clendening & TT) outside of those two everyone should be in play.

  15. Tim G says:

    Mike- the roster $$$ would probably be Bickell… Something like Kesler for Bicks/Pirri/Ross/1st round Draft Pick. They would need to get a useable player, and a package of 1 high value prospect/pick, and some lower prospects/picks. and that might even be too low…

    so if you want to keep the first rounder, then it would be someone like Hartman…

    To be honest… i would make the above trade too. I like Ross and you never want to give up a 1st rounder… (and i think pirri is a very solid player)… but Kesler for the next 2 1/2 years would be awesome! 20/Kesler/88… yes please!

    But as for now… it would all be a pipedream as stated, cuz there is no way Vancouver deals Kesler to the best team in the league.

  16. Mike says:

    SSHM, still have to clear almost $4mm off the roster. Oduya ain’t enough, if they even want him. Leddy is an almost perfect 5/6 Dman for the Hawks system. Remember he is only 22 years old. Yes, SB does have a bit of a logjam in the minors, but those players do nothing to relieve $4mm in cap space needed for Kesler. Let’s get out there and play with the guys we got.

  17. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Just to clarify Kesler’s deal according to cap geek is 5 million for 3 years. He is 29 years so when he is 32 he will be out of contract. Plus the guy has been banged up alot. That is the other problem w Kesler he isn’t always healthy.

  18. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Kessler being traded is the thing to watch. He would be a transformative player to an already formidable St Louis club.

    McNeill has been disappointing. Love Stan but he might have screwed up on McNeill.

    Regin is a nice serviceable two way playing fit for the Hawks. This will prove to be a quality albeit non sexy addition.

    Nordstrom is who I want up. Love everything about his game and precisely the type of special teamer in the making this club needs.

    Clendening most definitely is with the Hawks next year. Leddy will be traded.

  19. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Mike,

    Oduya and Brookbank gets them nearly there. Or Bickell & Brookbank get it done. Plus They have another 800K available on their roster right now. Clearly its not impossible but the questions are will Knuckleheads trade one of their best players to the Hawks, and is SB even considering that option. I think Stan should be considering it IMO. The fact that Vancouver is falling out of race is awesome to begin with. I could see both Vancouver and Detroit not making the playoffs this season.

  20. Mike says:

    If the Knucks were willing to trade Kesler for Oduya and Brookbank SB would have already done it. Hell I would do the deal if it were Oduya, Brookbank and Bickell. Ain’t happenin that way. Tim you are right….will take a serviceable player 2 or 3 prospects and a second rounder.

  21. JS says:

    You aren’t getting Kesler unless the talks start with Seabrook. Maybe this is a possibility come July, but not now. Especially since his hand is likely broken and he’ll be out 4-6 weeks.

    Mark McNeil just turned 21 and he isn’t playing in the NHL. We can officially consider him a bust and a bad draft pick. Put him on a bus with Morin, and Pirri.

    And once again, Stan should trade the 23 year old (at seasons end) RFA defensemen instead of the 32 year old. IT JUST MAKES SENSE ALRIGHT.

  22. Peter says:

    The Hawks just traded Brad Winchester of Rockford to the Wild for Brian Connelly, who was playing at their AHL affiliate in Iowa. Connelly played with Rockford for 3 years, 09-12, and has never appeared in the NHL. Just speculation, but is this a reload of AHL talent because someone is about to be called up (Clendenning) because someone else is about to be gone (Leddy or Oduya).

    I think Kesler would be an amazing add to the Hawks and, if he is available, we have to try and get him. He and Kane have chemistry…they were decent together in Sochi. Yes he probably has a broken hand from the blocked shot, yes he is like Bolland when it comes to injuries; however he plays defense and likes to show up in the playoffs…and can win a faceoff. This would be a good addition.

  23. Ernie says:

    Something to remember with any trade for Kesler is the 50 SPC maximum. It was noted on here that the Hawks have 48 contracts being tolled. If my math is correct, the Canucks also have 48….unless buyouts count against that 50 contract max. Then the Canucks have 49 as Ballard was bought out. That would complicate things.

    The only way the Hawks could swing a Kesler trade would be to ship out 2 players on the Hawks 23 man to satisfy the cap. That puts the Canuck at 50 and you’re going to have to give up more. So they would have to throw in Hartman since his contract doesn’t count on the 50 limit. Does 2 roster players plus Hartman plus a pick(s) get you Ryan Kesler?

  24. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Mike you just said “will take a serviceable player 2 or 3 prospects and a second rounder” What I said was Oduya(serviceable player) and 2 prospects plus Brookbank (only because BB has 1.2 million dollar that you would need to make room to take on Keslers 5 million dollar salary).

    Again not saying its likely this happens just saying it could and Kesler is actively being shopped or atleast teams are looking into him. Vancouver is absolutely done and they have said they need to make some wholesale changes! Take alook at their roster of active players today, not to mention john tortorella is a POS and IMO not a good coach.

    I also felt like his Rangers teams had a roster worthy of winning a cup and he failed to bring them anywhere near a cup.

    Kesler is currently day to day(not out 3-4 weeks) and I would NEVER trade Kesler for Seabrook.

  25. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    HOT DOG,…..according to the 4th period

    The Vancouver Canucks could have a significantly different look by the time the trade deadline passes next week, as forward Ryan Kesler appears to want out.
    As first reported by Louis Jean of TVA Sports, Kesler has asked the Canucks to trade him.

  26. Tab Bamford says:

    CONFIRMED by Dave Pagnotta at The Fourth Period: Kesler never asked for a trade.

  27. Ernie says:

    Seems to be some disagreement on whether or not Kesler requested a trade. A couple places said he requested one a while ago, yet his agent has called reports bs. Always a little truth to rumors.

  28. AJ says:

    Ahhhhhhhh trade deadline ahhhhh ahhhh ahhhh ahhhh ahhhhhhhh rumors ahhhh!!!!!!!!!

    McNeil is playing his first year of AHL hockey. Kind of different than being a man among children. Bit of an adjustment period. Bigger faster players and longer harder grind. Should probably wait a bit before passing judgment there. Fan favorite Danault has run out of steam a bit too.

    I would trade Kesler for Seabrook straight up. They are super deep on the blue line and have enough guys they can break in on the 6/7 spot where I don’t think they will drop off to much.

    A front six of Sharp Toews Hossa and Saad Kesler Kane would be cheating.

    But that will never happen in real life. JS and I will go on a double date with Anna Kendrick and Audrey Plaza before that ever happens. Maybe if they were in opposing conferences something that delusional could happen but Gillis is a dick and there would be massive blowback if Kesler went anywhere, ESPECIALLY to a conference rival. Though a BC native could maybe satiate some of that malcontent. But probably not enough.

    May as well make it Lu and Kesler for Seabrook and Crawford at that point to really make it interesting. #elitegoalie and such.

    If anything Torts would get fired if they continue to drag ass before Kesler leaves town in my opinion.

  29. AJ says:

    Annnnnnnnnd since were discussing other teams and crazy scanarios…

    In what world is Ryan Callahan worth 6.5 – 7 million dollars and reasons why? He certainly does not put up numbers commanding that kind of monies.

  30. JS says:

    It’s easy, AJ. Players point to the money that Toronto paid Clarkson and then put up their numbers next to him. Kane and Toews are going to need 20m a year.

  31. Ernie says:

    If you ask Ranger fans who adore Callahan….he brings grit and heart. Grit and heart isn’t worth 7 years at 6 mil per. And yet the Rangers have supposedly offered 6 years. Crazy.

  32. morrison says:

    In terms of salary cap. Leads 2.7, Regin to ahl roster .375 & the .837 is 3.912 They retained 20% in trade theres your 5.

    Yea, theres the trade rumors & talk, ahhhhhhhh. There was talk/mention of a lot of emails in the front office a day/couple ago. Why would we trade for D man in ahl…

    Maybe because 6 got claimed.

    I to, think Regin will be/is a good serviceable role player reguardless of what position hes in… He is a good defensive fw.

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