The Blackhawks placed Adam Burish on Injured Reserve today, and recalled Pascal Pelletier, the forward acquired for Martin St. Pierre this past summer. Pellitier has 13 goals and 21 points this season for Rockford of the AHL. He has played in six previous NHL games with the Boston Bruins, and has zero career NHL points. While it was mentioned here that Ben Eager may get an opportunity to play a regular shift with the Toews line tomorrow evening, Pelletier’s addition seemingly ends that speculation. Burish’s addition to the IR, as explained below, likely creates enough cap space to add James Wisniewski to the active roster sometime this week – perhaps in time to play in Colorado on Friday.
According to the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, placing players on Injured Reserve for a Long Term Injury – an injury that keeps the player from action for 10 games or 24 days – allows a team to exceed the salary cap by the injured player’s salary, though the injured player’s salary still technically counts against the cap. A suspended player’s salary does not count against the cap – not that the ‘Hawks have officially announced Kris Versteeg’s suspension. Article 18 of the CBA grants a suspended player a right to appeal, so it’s conceivable – assuming the salaries don’t exceed the cap – that Versteeg may appeal the otherwise automatic suspension. As it’s likely an appeal would be held during the beginning of next week and that Versteeg would lose, he may drop the (now unfiled) appeal before Sunday’s game versus the Blue Jackets to serve it then. However, the addition of Pelletier makes this an unlikely scenario.
The entire 472-page NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement can be found on the NHL’s web site here.