The Blackhawks do, contrary to popular belief, have someone under contract right now named Sami Lepisto. He’s a defenseman, he’s getting paid, but hasn’t been seen in almost a month. What happened to Lepisto?
As far as we can tell, the last time anyone in Chicago acknowledged that Lepisto was against Edmonton on Jan. 2, just after he was referenced (but not seen) in the infamous Christmas album video that was sent to season ticket holders. In that game, Lepisto allegedly skated 5:22… if anyone noticed.
The Blackhawks are actually 6-4-1 in Lepisto’s 11 games. He has skated better than 12 minutes on eight occasions, and has been credited with nine hits and three blocked shots… if anyone noticed.
Chicago has shown that there are talented players that are NHL-ready in Rockford. Right now, Jimmy Hayes, Brandon Pirri, Ben Smith and Dylan Olsen are all skating with the IceHogs after getting a shot in Chicago. Yet, for some reason, Lepisto is still on the 23-man roster in Chicago.
Back on Dec. 3, we wrote that it was time for the Hawks to cut ties with Lepisto. On Jan. 7, we visited the discussion again, noting that Lepisto is a wasted roster spot. The second of those article was written five days after Lepisto’s last appearance on the ice for the Hawks.
Nothing has changed.
Lepisto is a wasted roster spot who is doing nothing in Chicago other than keeping someone who might be able to contribute to a winning hockey team in the AHL.
Coach Joel Quenneville has his reasons for dressing John Scott, whether you agree with them or not. But as long as the other two options at the end of the bench are Sean O’Donnell (ancient) and Lepisto (worthless), it’s hard to fault the coach for playing the cards he’s been dealt.