It was a busy weekend of Blackhawk re-assignments.
On Saturday, they sent seven to Rockford- Brandon Bollig, Brandon Pirri, Rob Klinkhammer, Jonathan Carlsson, Simon Danis-Pepin, Ryan Stanton, and Ivan Vishnevskiy. Then on Sunday, Shawn Lalonde and Chris DiDomenico were shipped west on I-90.
The Hawks have 21 forwards, 10 defensemen, and 4 goalies left at camp. Defensive-wise, there’s no debate on the seven guys who will open the season, assuming there’s no injuries. Same thing with the goaltending.
Up front, there’s no doubt left Jack Skille will open with the team after Saturday night’s performance. Fernando Pisani and Ryan Potulny look like sure things.
So that leaves two spots open and five guys in the mix: Viktor Stalberg, Igor Makarov, Jeremy Morin, Jake Dowell, and Jeff Taffe. At this moment, Morin has to be considered one of the favorites as the Hawks are nothing but seriously impressed.
The only way Makarov can open with the team will be if outplays Morin in these last 5 games (and practices, obviously), otherwise he’ll head to Rockford because he will not be the 13th forward.
Taffe is a guy.
To me, it’s a matter of semantics. Jake Dowell has done nothing to deserve a roster spot. Viktor Stalberg has looked a little off. If everything stays true, then the Hawks will likely keep Dowell as the 13th forward and let Stalberg skate on Rockford’s top-6. It makes no sense to keep Stalberg unless he’s playing every night. Dowell is taking away someone’s minutes if he’s playing in Rockford so the Hawks may as well keep him in their press box.
Keep in mind, this is still pretty early in the process. Morin has the capability of laying a stink bomb and Stalberg can still force his way on to the roster. If the Hawks brass is as bright as you believe, then they won’t paint themselves into a corner and will wait on this decision until the last possible day.