One interesting twist for the return to play is the potential for expanded rosters for the Chicago Blackhawks.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it will allow Colliton to tweak the line-up more so than usual. Fringe players can be swapped as the need arises. For example, Edmonton has a lot of speed, and while it may not seem like a big switch, swapping Matthew Highmore for someone super speedy like Alex Fortin might be the kind of thing that gets done.
It’s not reaching to think that a player like Fortin may be slotted in the line-up and told to use his speed to disrupt and defend, rather than to try and score off breakaways.
Same for players like Nick Seeler and Denis Gilbert. If a more physical presence is needed, some players will be called on.
The hiccup to this is that there aren’t a lot of players in Rockford that are ready for the NHL.
Aside from Dylan Sikura, and those players already mentioned, who might be worth dressing? 31-year-old T.J. Brennan? Maybe. Mackenzie Entwhistle? Maybe, but the postseason likely isn’t the time to give the 20-year-old more NHL experience.
The cupboard isn’t exactly bare, but it’s not very well-stocked either. Colliton’s options are limited, even if they might give him a wider palette to paint with, so to speak.
This might be a fun experiment that the league might want to consider for future seasons.
Just like the league will want to gauge how people respond to having hockey played at a different time of the year, maybe its worthwhile to try different roster sizes.
This the best possible opportunity to try something different.