Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks Recall Defenseman Gustav Forsling

By Sean Fitzgerald
Nov 29, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Gustav Forsling (42) skates past Florida Panthers center Jonathan Marchessault (81) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Gustav Forsling (42) skates past Florida Panthers center Jonathan Marchessault (81) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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After a short stint in the AHL, defenseman Gustav Forsling has been recalled to the Chicago Blackhawks

With the Central Division All-Star Team being eliminated early in Sunday’s game, there was not much good news for the Chicago Blackhawks fans on the day. That was, until they announced a call-up from Rockford.

The Chicago Blackhawks have recalled defenseman Gustav Forsling from the Rockford IceHogs. The ’Hawks also placed fellow defenseman Michal Rozsival on injured reserve, retroactive to January 25.

Forsling had been send down to Rockford on January 6 along with one-day call-up Spencer Abbott. While Abbott was sent down because the coaching staff was not impressed by this play, Forsling was sent down to get him more consistent playing time.

Forsling also needed some seasoning after coming over directly from Linkopings HC in Sweden. He is still viewed by many as the Blackhawks’ top defensive prospect.

In Rockford, Forsling appeared in 11 games, scoring one goal and recording four assists. He was a minus-6 in those 11 games.

This will be his second stint with the Blackhawks this season. In his first stint, he appeared in 32 games and  had one goal and three assists. He averaged 14:50 in ice time during his stint.

This move also frees up more defensive playing time at Rockford for players like Viktor Svedberg, Ville Pokka and Erik Gustafsson.

This has been the second youngster who has been sent down and recalled by the Blackhawks this season. If Nick Schmaltz is any indication of how seasoning down in Rockford works, the Blackhawks should be good with Forsling coming back now.

Schmaltz has two goals and one assist since being recalled from Rockford. He has also been more aggressive with his shot and impressed the Blackhawks coaching staff the second time around.

Quick breakdown of the moves

Rozsival being placed on IR is not a big loss for the Blackhawks. He has appeared in 14 games and recorded one point. He is a minus-12 on the season thus far. He has not appeared in a game since January 15. Coach Joel Quenneville‘s favorite elder statesman might have seen his last days with the Blackhawks.

Forsling being recalled also gives the Blackhawks a boost on defense. Before the All-Star break, the Blackhawks lost two consecutive games in regulation when entering with third-period leads, with the first of those marking the first such defeat since 2014.

With Forsling back in the defensive mix, I expect that Michal Kempny will find himself back on the bench more often to make room for Forsling.

Next: Central Division Goalies Struggle In ASG

This also might not be the last recall from Rockford. The Blackhawks still have high draft pick Tyler Motte working on his game in the AHL. Motte has four goals and one assist in 13 games since being sent down to Rockford.

The Blackhawks return to action on Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks.

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