A Veteran Player Returns While A Rookie Will Sit When The Chicago Blackhawks Face The Anaheim Ducks

Andreas Athanasiou returns from IR. Landon Slaggert will not debut tonight.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Andreas Athanasiou is returning to game action for the first time since November 9, 2023 when the Chicago Blackhawks host the Anaheim Ducks.

He missed 54 games with a groin injury.

Athanasiou did not have a great start to the season before the injury as he registered just four assists in 11 games.

Hopefully, his return brings some much-needed speed to the ice and helps the offense continue to score goals against teams not located in Arizona.

The Blackhawks scored 12 goals in two games against the Coyotes over a five-day period. Coincidentally, the Hawks won those games during a 10-game span in which they went of a 2-8.

The Blackhawks scored 11 goals in those eight loses which included two shutout defeats to the Colorado Avalanche

Athanasiou will skate on a line center by Tyler Johnson who has two goals and three assists over his past three games. It is a good thing the Hawks did not trade the veteran as the they could use his offense more than a late-round draft pick.

The other news nugget coming into this matchup is Landon Slaggert will not make his pro debut tonight.

The Notre Dame star just signed his entry-level contract to join the Hawks who drafted him in the 2020 third round. The 21-year-old, six-foot forward/center will be watching the game from the press box.

The Blackhawks brass feel he is a prospect who does not need to spend much time in Rockford, so that is why he is with NHL club.

Landon has the skill set to play on a top line or be a very solid player on the third line. Think of Dave Bolland or Andrew Shaw as his floor. 

It does make sense to have Slaggert get a few practices in before throwing him into the deep end of the rough NHL pool as those are some rough waters. Slaggert worked on his offensive game during his senior year in South Bend. Hopefully, he gets into the lineup soon to help boost the offense.