The Chicago Blackhawks have cut nine players from training camp, the team announced Monday. There are now 20 forwards, 10 defensemen and three goaltenders remaining on the team’s active roster.
Young defensemen Ville Pokka and Erik Gustafsson are the two biggest names to get cut from the NHL roster. They’ve been assigned to AHL Rockford along with Luke Johnson, Tanner Kero, Martin Lundberg, Robin Norell and Lars Johansson. Additionally, forwards Chris DeSousa and Jake Dowell were released from their tryout contracts.
The moves appear to solidify the Hawks’ defensive corps beyond the slim chance that Gustav Forsling cracks the roster. As we expected before training camp started, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brian Campbell, Michal Kempny, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Michal Rozsival are lined up as Chicago’s seven blue liners.
None of the players sent down are surprising, and with only two preseason games remaining on the schedule, it’s time to start weeding guys out for the regular season. Most of the Hawks’ top prospects, such as Forsling, Nick Schmaltz, Tyler Motte and Vincent Hinostroza, remain at camp, so they’ll continue to be evaluated by team officials.
Five players also got placed on waivers Monday, including defenseman Viktor Svedberg.