For the first couple weeks of the season, it was Jack Skille burning up the roads between Rockford and Chicago. Now, it looks like Jake Dowell has become the in between man.
Because of the Blackhawks’ salary cap situation, the Hawks have been running a shuttle between their minor league affiliate in Rockford and the United Center between games all season. Dowell, who made his first appearance of the season for the Hawks on Saturday night, was temporarily demoted for Sunday, but was recalled on Monday morning for the Hawks game against the Minnesota Wild.
Dowell, who played with Adam Burish at the University of Wisconsin, was the final roster cut before the season started. Coach Joel Quenneville opted to keep Colin Fraser over Dowell when the rosters were set to begin the season, but now both will see playing time together on the fourth line.
Because of the injury to Toews, still listed as an “upper body” issue, Dowell bring more versatility to the roster. His natural position is center, but he played wing exclusively on Saturday night. Andrew Ebbett played center in place of Toews, and both Dowell and Tomas Kopecky can play center as well.
On defense, Seabrook’s “upper body injury” is a concussion, suffered when he got kicked in the head in last Wednesday’s loss to Vancouver. Ben Eager is already missing from action with concussion-related issues, and hasn’t played since being placed on injured reserve October 8.
The decision on Toews and Seabrook’s eligibility for Monday night’s game has not yet been determined. Minnesota has struggled this season and is dealing with injuries, and the Hawks don’t play again until Thursday night in Nashville. Because the Hawks’ schedule isn’t necessarily loaded with top-tier opponents, saving Toews and Seabrook’s health for another few days might be the best option for the rest of the season.
UPDATE (5:05 pm CST) – Per Twitter, Quenneville has decided that both Seabrook and Toews are OUT vs. Minnesota tonight, and are still considered day-to-day.