In a quickly evolving turn of events on Friday afternoon, it appears Blackhawks forward Tomas Kopecky’s stay in the doghouse is becoming more apparent. After the morning skate on Friday, the Blackhawks recalled Bryan Bickell from Rockford and, as of 3 pm CST on the Blackhawks’ web site, Kopecky has been replaced in the lineup by Bickell for tonight’s game against Boston.
Over the last few weeks, Kopecky’s poor play has put him on the bench on a number of occasions, with coach Joel Quenneville opting to play Jordan Hendry out of position as a forward rather than dress Kopecky. Kopecky’s minutes have fallen over the course of the season as well; he has not played more than 10 minutes in a game since the Nov. 25 blow out in San Jose, a span of seven games for Kopecky (nine for the Hawks, but two have been healthy scratches for Kopecky).
Kopecky signed a two-year, $2.4 million deal this summer with his close friend Marian Hossa. Both left Detroit for the greener pastures of Chicago’s west side, but Kopecky hasn’t found a niche in the Blackhawks roster yet.
With salary cap concerns looming, the Blackhawks could buyout Kopecky or place him on waivers in an effort to defer some of his contract to a team that picked him up. If Kopecky cleared waivers, he could then be demoted to Rockford and his salary wouldn’t have as much bearing against the cap this season for the Hawks.
More to come…