The Blackhawks claimed left-handed defenseman Nick Seeler off waivers from the Wild on Monday, and in a corresponding move reassigned defenseman Dennis Gilbert to the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL.
Seeler, 26, is signed through the 2020-21 season with a $725,000 salary cap hit. The 6-foot-2, 201-pound blue liner was the odd man out of the lineup for most of the season, appearing in only six games, including one in which he dressed as an extra defenseman and skated two shifts.
Seeler, a stay-at-home defenseman, had two assists in six AHL games with the Iowa Wild in January during his conditioning stint. He hasn’t played in an NHL game since Dec. 7 against Carolina when he skated 11:14 minutes across 14 shifts.
In 99 career NHL games with the Wild after being drafted in the fifth round in 2011, Seeler has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) and 93 penalty minutes. He played a career-high 71 games last season.
Seeler will be the seventh player in Blackhawks history to wear No. 55, joining forwards Sergei Krivokrasov (1994), Eric Daze (1995-2006), Ben Eager (2008-10) and defensemen Ryan Stanton (2013), Christian Ehrhoff (2016) and Blake Hillman (2018).
The 23-year-old Gilbert has been sent up and down five times since he last played an NHL game Jan. 7 against Calgary. He skated in four AHL games in January for the IceHogs (20-24-1-2), who are winless in six straight games (0-5-0-1) and host the Texas Stars on Tuesday in Rockford.
The Blackhawks (25-21-7) visit the Wild (23-22-6) on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Via text, #blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said he’s not sure yet if Seeler will debut tomorrow vs #mnwild. He’s meeting w team tomorrow in St. Paul— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) February 3, 2020
One Wild player cracked about Seeler, “I hope he doesn’t kill someone tomorrow.”
Wild players are very happy for the popular teammate
You can admit that you had no idea the nick seeler was in the league pic.twitter.com/Ej83gTplZm— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) February 2, 2020