I’m pretty sure the Chicago Blackhawks have appealed to Gary Bettman and the NHL to allow the team to continue calling up players until it scores more than one goal in a game.
After a third consecutive single-goal effort from the Blackhawks last night, in a 3-1 defeat at Winnipeg, the team decided to add right wing Ryan Hartman to the mix. He was called up from Rockford early Friday. It is unclear whether or not he’ll play in tonight’s game against the Minnesota Wild.
With all the recent moves, it’s been somewhat difficult to keep track of where the Blackhawks’ roster currently stands. But the team is finally at 23 active players, the maximum number during the regular season, with Michal Rozsival and Duncan Keith currently inactive. The Blackhawks currently host 14 forwards, seven defensemen and a pair of goaltenders.
Hartman started the 2015-16 AHL season with the Rockford IceHogs on a solid note — similar to another recent call-up, Tanner Kero. In eight games, Hartman notched three goals and two assists, though he also had a team-high 18 penalty minutes before being promoted. That last stat shouldn’t come as a major surprise, considering what Hartman is most remembered for in his stint with the 2014-15 Blackhawks.
On his first shift in the NHL, the 5-foot-11, 191-pound Hartman leveled an unsuspecting Dainius Zubrus, who checks in at 6-5 and 225 for the New Jersey Devils. What better way to endear yourself to Chicago fans than by smashing someone seconds into your big-league debut?
Well, scoring some goals would also be approved, especially with the Blackhawks struggling mightily to fill the nets. Hartman played in five games for the Blackhawks last season, recording eight shots on goal and two penalty minutes. What exactly he’ll be expected to do while up with the Blackhawks this time remains to be seen, but I’m sure Joel Quenneville and company would appreciate if Hartman spent any ice time he receives trying to deposit the puck behind opposing goaltenders.
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What this move means for the Blackhawks as far as future forward lines is unclear. Bryan Bickell was a surprise starter last night in favor of Teuvo Teravainen, so Q has obviously gone to the blender to try and find some combination that will produce more than one goal a night. It wouldn’t be totally surprising to see someone like Viktor Tikhonov come out of the lineup tonight to give Hartman a look, but again, there’s no indication Hartman will suit up in Minnesota.
Hartman, as you can tell from the above video, plays bigger than his size but still has some scoring pop. In those senses, he’s more or a less a better offensive version of Andrew Shaw. Considering the Blackhawks’ bottom six has been ice-cold on offense, it’s not too surprising they’d bring in a bottom-six-type guy to try and ramp up production.
What do you think of the latest Blackhawks call-up? Let us know in the comments section.
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