That’s right; count them. Eight players have been assigned to Rockford. This morning, Friday, October 2, 2015, we saw the Blackhawks reassign forwards Marko Dano, Ryan Hartman, Vincent Hinostroza, Brandon Mashinter, Dennis Rasmussen and Garret Ross, and defensemen Erik Gustafasson and Ville Pokka to the Rockford Icehogs (AHL). In addition to the eight players being assigned to Rockford, the Blackhawks have also placed Bryan Bickell on waivers.
Off to Rockford
We all expected Marko Dano to remain on the roster, but moves Friday morning sent him to Rockford. During three preseason games, Dano had one assist and seven shots on goal. He was acquired in the Brandon Saad trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets and many thought he was a shoe in for opening night lineup. The Blackhawks are limited by salary cap and roster size, which is what sent Dano back to Rockford. Each player was impressive, but the Blackhawks needed to make a deal to open up roster space for them to be promoted. Maybe we will see Dano, or even Hartman and Hinostroza, brought back up at some point—I wouldn’t be surprised if they do.
Bryan Bickell on Waivers
We all know Bryan Bickell. Oh, Bickell. When the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013 he was a HUGE success. We saw him come through for the team in the playoffs and expected greatness from him. Sadly, however, we didn’t get much out of him after the Blackhawks signed him to a four-year $16 million contract. He went from 17 points in 23 games during the 2013 playoffs to 43 points over 139 regular season games in the last two years.
We also learned at training camp that Bickell was still dealing with vertigo. It has even been rumored that the Blackhawks have been trying to trade Bickell, but to no avail. At the end of the day they had to think of their roster and team, which is why they decided to place Bickell on waivers. If he can’t play because of his vertigo, then why keep him on the roster? I support this decision, but a long-term solution still needs to be made.
After Friday’s moves, Viktor Svedberg remains with the Blackhawks as one of the nine defensemen currently on the roster—this includes the injured Michal Rozsival. With Rozsival and Cumiskey injured, David Rundblad, Viktor Svedberg and Trevor van Riemsdyk look like they will make up the back end of the blue line for the Hawks to start the season. In addition to Svedberg, the Blackhawks still have 13 forwards on the roster, including Kyle Baun and Viktor Tikhonov. Who do you think will stay on the roster for opening night?
The last preseason game is tomorrow, so we will have to see what other moves the Blackhawks make after that. And, in the meantime, we sit and wait to find out if anyone wants Bickell, or if we still have to keep paying for him.