Blackhawks Announce Roster Moves

On Monday morning, the Blackhawks announced a series of roster moves to cut down their NHL roster.

Forwards Luke Johnson, Tanner Kero, Martin Lundberg, defensemen Erik Gustafsson, Robin Norell, Ville Pokka, and goaltender Lars Johansson were assigned to Rockford. Also headed to Rockford are forwards Chris DeSousa and Jake Dowell, who were released from their tryouts.

Gustafsson, 24, being assigned to Rockford before Cameron Schilling or Viktor Svedberg is a bit of a surprise. Gustav Forsling continues to impress the coaching staff and will get a longer look at training camp.

Up front, Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Mark McNeill, Spencer Abbott and Sam Carrick survived the cut (for now). Alexandre Fortin also gets to hang around for a while longer after looking good in a bad overall team performance in Detroit on Sunday evening.

Chicago’s active roster is now at 33 (20 forwards, 10 defensemen and three goaltenders).

14 thoughts on “Blackhawks Announce Roster Moves

  • October 3, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Schilling and Carrick have to clear waivers before being reassigned. Blackhawks typically don’t announce assignments until after waivers. So get your facts straight before making statements “like Gustafsson being assigned before Svedberg and Schilling is a bit of a surprise.

  • October 3, 2016 at 11:50 am

    McNeil is an enigma? It does not seem that the NHL staff cares for him. Why did they even bother signing him again. Or, why haven’t they traded him. If there is no market for him, again, why did they sign him again?

  • October 3, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I may be alone on this, but I have never liked what Gustafsson brings. I still don’t know why Q picked him AND Runblad over Rozy in the later games against Blows last year. With the emergence of Forsling there is no reason for him to be in the long-term plan any longer. He is at best our 8th or 9th guy and for this year only.

    I had hoped that Lundberg might be a diamond in the rough, but i guess not so far.

  • October 3, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Booman they signed McNeil because Rockford needs good players. Why he might never be NHL material McNeil and Hartman are good AHl players. Villa Pokka is slow NHL too. Could be tossed in when making a trade.

  • October 3, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    JordyHawk – You know Blackhawks had very few left side defense men last year.
    Even T.V. R. is a right side defense man who didn’t play well when forced on the left! 95% D-men only play one side well. Brain Campbell can play either side 6 years at left, 3 years at right for Florida and now is back at left.

    They played Gustafsson because he is a left side D-man with a left handed shot.
    Roszival only plays right side. Gustafsson was best left D-man they had left.

    This year they added Campbell,Kempney and Gustav Forsling- who all play left side D-men to join Keith.

    In fact being right handed – right side D-man cost Seabrook from making Canada’s team a few times.

    Canada Coach Mike Babcock wanted an equal number of left-handed and right-handed shots among his eight defensemen.

    Seabrook won a gold medal with Canada’s 2010 Olympic team, and he is a top-pair defenseman for Chicago who was vital to the Blackhawks’ two recent Stanley Cup championships. But he would have been a fifth right-hander on Team Canada’s blue line for the Sochi Games in Russia. Coach Mike Babcock wanted an equal number of left-handed and right-handed shots among his eight defensemen.

  • October 3, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    @Chris: I understand the depth issue on the left side. There were other options though. One was Erhoff but he jut never got any traction from Q. The second was moving Hammer back to the left side where he played his first few years with us. I can’t remember exactly when Q became stuck on Hammer having to play with DK, but that one now seems written in stone.

    Also, I do agree with the idea of keeping guys on their strong sides for the most part. Interesting, in the 80’s Red Army iced a team for a while that were all left hand shots.

  • October 3, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    I’ve still yet to hear why baseball and hockey players are different. 90% of people are right handed. So why are right shot D-man so highly coveted? Because right handed people are taught to have their dominant hand on top. And I have no clue why. In North America it’s closer to 50/50. Go to Europe where baseball isn’t as prevalent and the numbers are more dramatic. Hence why the red army team had 6 left hand shots. Because 9 out of 10 players are taught to be left shot since they’re right handed.

    Look at Finland’s World Cup roster… The right shots were Laine,Donskoi,Pokka, Ristolainen, Vatanen. 5 of 20. I doubt a guy like Pokka was brought in just because he’s a right shot. Not when you also bring in Sami Lepisto, Jokipakka, and Lindell as left shots.

  • October 3, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Ernie, I forget where it was here or another Blackhawks blog but about 2 or so yrs ago (I think) there was an in depth conversation on this and lots of good points about it/differences.

  • October 3, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    JordyHawk. For some reason, Niklas Hjalmarsson likes playing right better even though he shoots left handed. I read it in an interview that Hjalmarsson did.

    I agree coach Q sometimes get stuck on certain players playing and certain players players playing together. With his record as coach – it is hard to second guess him.

    Getting Earhoff was a mistake. Not sure why Hawks get old has been like Earhoff and Jordin Tootoo.

    What is nice is even is how deep Blackhawks are this year on Defense.
    Keith – Hjalmarsson
    Campbell – Seabrook
    Kempny – T.V.R
    extras Forsling -LD Roszival -RD
    Minors Gustafsson-LD and Pokka-RD

  • October 3, 2016 at 11:44 pm

    It was here Morrison. There was a lot of opinions why but never got anything real definitive. A right handed person will catch with their left. Makes stick work easier with dominant hand on top. It’s just kind of an oddity that it gets more prevalent in Europe. I remember reading something on Filip Forsberg that he shoots right because he played baseball in Sweden which was rare…they had like 500 kids playing in the country.

  • October 4, 2016 at 12:02 am

    Absolutely no way, they keep Forsling around to be an “extra”. He’s either playing every night or going back to Sweden. I highly doubt at this point he is going back.

    He has beaten out Svedberg, Gusty and Pokka. Those 3 did not even make it to the final cutdown. Add to that Q used the term “special ” when referring to Forsling’s play over the weekend, he normally reserves that type of comment for Kane or Toews.

    The suspension to Nik H. + Keith’s knee being a question mark. To me this all adds up to Forsling making it and staying.

  • October 4, 2016 at 10:19 am

    So Craig, What do they do after 1 game when Hjalmarsson is back and after a few games when Keith is more healthy? Rozsival is here to help get Kempny acclimated. Only odd man out is TvR. I don’t think they keep 8 D. They could fit 8 D under the cap, but I’d be trying to minimize the bonus overage as much as possible. He would be claimed on waivers so thats not happening. He does have some value, but not enough to get anything of more use in return. He also has value when it comes time to expansion draft. He can be left unprotected and its not a big deal

  • October 4, 2016 at 10:27 am


    I think the Hawks will cross that bridge when they get there. Keep in mind they kept 8 for awhile last year after Keith went down. I remember Q answering one reporter’s question with, “well we can’t have nine”.

    I am curious how long Keith’s knee difficulties will last. How healthy will he be in the first 10 games say ?

    For now I think the 8 defenseman on the roster are it.

  • October 4, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Craig you might be right and forsling stays because they feel he can help right away but he could also be staying for a few games now when can play since he can’t be recalled until end of season if he goes back to europe instead of releasing him with the others because he posed a different situation

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