Cam Barker, who has missed the last five Blackhawks games with an upper body injury, is expected to return to the lineup for Saturday afternoon’s contest in Columbus.
Barker has struggled statistically this year, with only 13 points (four goals, nine assists), and hasn’t scored a goal since Nov. 11 against Colorado. Coming off a 40-point season in 2008-09, Barker has failed to emerge as a consistent force on the power play and has fallen to the third defensive pairing.
Considering his $3 million cap number, Barker might be on borrowed time in Chicago. With Adam Burish and Dave Bolland coming back from injury soon, Barker, 23, will likely continue to be among the more popular Hawks in trade rumors between now and the Olympics in February. Jordan Hendry has filled in admirably for Barker over the last couple weeks.