The Blackhawks have a question to answer this week about defenseman Adam Boqvist: should we use the first year of his NHL contract?
Boqvist played in his ninth NHL game this season in Chicago’s 4-3 loss to the Blues on Saturday in St. Louis, and if he plays in one more game the Blackhawks will use the first year of his entry-level contract. If he’s re-assigned to the AHL and remains at nine games for the rest of the season, Boqvist’s contract will slide to the 2020-21 season.
Chicago hosts the Wild on Sunday night and could opt to sit Boqvist for Slater Koekkoek to draw back into the lineup while they ponder the decision for a few more days. After that game the Blackhawks have until Wednesday to make a decision as they host the Avalanche, while Chicago’s AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, return from a three-game road trip in Canada.
The Blackhawks’ defenseman injuries certainly complicate Boqvist’s status. If Calvin de Haan (right shoulder), Duncan Keith (groin) and even Olli Maatta (illness) were all healthy of late, Boqvist would still be in the AHL and likely headed to the World Juniors in the Czech Republic. De Haan could reportedly miss four-to-five months with his injury, though Chicago head coach Jeremy Colliton has yet to announce an official timeline. Keith has missed eight games, but has started skating again, according to Colliton.
Injuries and a lack of depth point to Boqvist hitting the 10-game mark, but when will that happen? We’ll see.
What will Blackhawks do with Adam Boqvist?
This poll is closed
Not play Sunday, play in NHL later in the week
Not play Sunday, re-assign later this week but called up later
Not play Sunday, re-assign to AHL rest of season