Coach Joel Quenneville said Kruger “could play” against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday if fellow forward Dennis Rasmussen (ill) is unable to play.
Kruger has been sidelined since Dec. 30 with a hand injury. The team initially gave Kruger a two- to three-week timetable to return on New Year’s Day. The 26-year-old Swedish center has two goals and 10 points with a 50.1 faceoff percentage and 49.7 Corsi-For this season.
In a corresponding roster move, the Hawks are expected to reassign forward Nick Schmaltz to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.
Schmaltz, 20, has four goals and six points in 30 games this season. The 2014 first-round pick tallied a goal and an assist Jan. 17 at Colorado. He has played four games in his second stint with the Hawks. During his first appearance with Rockford this season, he logged six goals and nine points in 12 games.