Stan Bowman and Jeremy Colliton had to make a tough decision yesterday by placing Brett Connolly on waivers. The Chicago Blackhawks have a lot of young talented players fighting for roster spots, and putting Connolly on waivers shows that.
Brett Connolly is a veteran NHL player that belongs in the NHL. While it is not working out in Chicago due to his salary and the fact that the team has a lot of other options, maybe some other team will pick him up off of waivers.
Even though placing Connolly on waivers is the right decision, it couldn’t have been an easy decision. Connolly had a goal and an assist in ten games after being traded to Chicago from Florida.
So with Connolly on waivers and off of the NHL roster to begin the season here are the forwards vying for roster spots:
Jonathan Toews, Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane, Kirby Dach, Dominik Kubalik, Tyler Johnson, Brandon Hagel, Henrik Borgstrom, Adam Gaudette, Philipp Kurashev, Jujhar Khaira, Dylan Strome, Alex Nylander, Ryan Carpenter, Lukas Reichel, Mike Hardman, Mackenzie Entwistle, and a few other minor forwards.
That is a heck of a lot of guys vying for a very limited number of spots. Connolly being placed on waivers is not due to him being bad, it is just that so many other players have been really impressive. Here is what Jeremy Colliton had to say after the news came out on Tuesday:
I guess the Hawks’ decision to place Connolly on waivers showcases just how much depth the team has this season. I mean what could very well be a combination for the fourth line had a heck of a great game against Detroit a few days ago.
The Blackhawks have some locks in the forward group. Guys like Toews, Kubalik, DeBrincat, Dach, Kane, Johnson, Hagel, Kurashev, Gaudette, and Borgstrom are locks for this roster. Those last two guys in Gaudette and Borgstrom earned their spots during the preseason games. That only leaves two more spots for players like Dylan Strome and Ryan Carpenter.
What the forward group could look like is anyone’s guess, and I do think it is going to be a topic that is heavily debated the first few weeks of the season.