By Chris Block
While it can’t officially be announced until after the NHLPA membership ratifies the new CBA on Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks have jumped the gun a bit by recalling four players from AHL Rockford.
Nick Leddy, Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig were all recalled by the Blackhawks on Monday January 7th. This, one day after the NHL and Player’s association hammered out the framework for a new collective bargaining agreement to end the NHL Lockout.
All four players were held out of Rockford’s home game Wednesday night against first-place Grand Rapids. The transactions will be made official this weekend. Three of the four were in Chicago skating with most of the other Blackhawks players at informal on-ice workouts beginning Tuesday. Nick Leddy joined in on Thursday.
One player who was surprisingly left out of the initial group of four call-ups is Rockford IceHogs alternate captain, and the team’s leading goal scorer, Ben Smith.
Smith, 24, scored his 15th goal of the season on Wednesday night. He also ranks second in points scored by an IceHogs player, 26, seven behind team captain Martin St. Pierre. Read more
Posted in Blackhawks, IceHogs, Prospects
Tagged Andrew Shaw, Ben Smith, Ben Youds, Blackhawks, Brandon Bollig, Brandon Svendsen, Chicago, Dan Carcillo, David Gilbert, IceHogs, Jamal Mayers, Jeremy Morin, Marcus Kruger, Nick Leddy, Rockford, Terry Broadhurst, Transaction
Chicago Blackhawks recalled forward Ben Smith from the Rockford IceHogs on Saturday. An announcement will be made on Sunday morning.
Smith has played in twenty games since missing a month with a concussion suffered in a January 8th game against Grand Rapids. In that game, widely regarded as Smith’s best performance as a pro at the time, Smith posted 3 assists in a dominant 6-0 win over the Griffins.
In the 20 games since his return, Smith has 8 goals and an assist. However, seven of those eight goals have come in the last ten games.
Overall, Smith has 15 goals and 10 assists in 55 games in his rookie season with the IceHogs.
This move comes two days following the Blackhawks March 17th game at Dallas, a 5-0 loss to the Stars. A late afternoon Bryan Bickell scratch left the Blackhawks short a player and they played the game with 17 skaters, one short of the regular 18.
Thursday’s loss could loom large next month if Chicago and Dallas wind up in a tie-breaker situation, in which Dallas’ 5-0 victory gave them the deciding head-to-head advantage.