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Blackhawks briefly call up Stephen Johns, likely to promote someone else before road trip

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Stephen Johns wasn't with the 'Hawks for long. Someone else will end up being the seventh defenseman for the Circus Trip.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Update (Nov. 18): Turns out calling up Johns was merely a cap maneuver after all. The team sent him back to Rockford on Tuesday, and will likely end up calling up someone else before heading on the road with a game on Thursday.

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The Chicago Blackhawks announced a series of roster moves Monday afternoon that may or may not stay in place by the time the team hits the road for the Circus Trip later this week. We're not going to break them down too much without being sure they'll actually stick for more than a day or two, but alas.

The 'Hawks have swapped defenseman Stephen Johns and goaltender Antti Raanta from Rockford with fellow goalie Scott Darling and forward Joakim Nordstrom. The team also placed defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk on LTIR after the injury he suffered Sunday night against the Stars.

Johns' salary of $800,000 fits into the space created by placing TvR on LTIR, but pretty much every other option, including Klas Dahlbeck and Adam Clendening, would've fit as well. It's possible the team is merely making some short-term maneuvers before settling on a group to head to Alberta, but Johns probably won't play much for the 'Hawks either way.

Michal Rozsival stepping in as the sixth defenseman, with the younger player serving as the seventh guy, seems most likely while van Riemsdyk is recovering. That's probably not ideal, since a guy like Dahlbeck might actually surprise, while we pretty much know what Rozsival can do, but that reliability is also likely working in the veteran's favor with the coaching staff.