Blackhawks roster set for opener

By Jeffrey Bartl

Chicago Blackhawks fans, I’d like to introduce you to ….. Radek Smolenak?

Yep, Smolenak is officially a Blackhawk — for now, anyway. With Adam Burish and Marian Hossa starting the season on IR, Joel Quenneville decided to go with Smolenak over Jack Skille and Rob Klinkhammer. While I’m surprised, let’s not get our panties in a bunch over the choice. But as ridiculous as the whole thing seemed to be leading up to the preseason, you have to wonder if Skille’s $1.275M cap hit factored into the decision to send him to Rockford. Well, whatever.

Jordan Hendry claimed the eighth defenseman roster spot, which doesn’t seem like a bad choice factoring in the preseason action I’ve seen and things I’ve read to this point.

Both the ‘Hawks and Florida Panthers are allowed to carry one extra player for the trip to Helsinki, and the Blackhawks chose to keep all three goaltenders. Either Corey Crawford or Antti Niemi will be sent to Rockford following the trip.

Ladies and gentleman, your first installment of the 2009-10 Chicago Blackhawks:

Forwards: Troy Brouwer, Dustin Byfuglien, Dave Bolland, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Patrick Kane, Tomas Kopecky, Andrew Ladd, John Madden, Patrick Sharp, Radek Smolenak, Jonathan Toews, Kris Versteeg

Defensemen: Cam Barker, Brian Campbell, Jordan Hendry, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Aaron Johnson, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brent Sopel

Goalies: Corey Crawford, Cristobal Huet, Antti Niemi

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