Malcolm Subban will get the first chance to take ownership of the Blackhawks net after coach Jeremy Colliton named him the starter for Wednesday night’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Colliton made the announcement while addressing media following Wednesday’s morning skate as the Blackhawks formalized the 18 skaters and two goalies who’ll take the ice against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Those players are:
Forwards: Ryan Carpenter, Alex DeBrincat, Matthew Highmore, Mattias Janmark, David Kampf, Patrick Kane, Dominik Kubalik, Brandon Pirri, Andrew Shaw, Dylan Strome, Pius Suter, Lucas Wallmark
Defensemen: Adam Boqvist, Calvin de Haan, Duncan Keith, Ian Mitchell, Connor Murphy, Nikita Zadorov
Goaltenders: Collin Delia, Malcolm Subban
The six-man taxi squad is loaded with younger players, especially on the blue line:
Taxi Squad: Nicolas Beaudin (D), Lucas Carlsson (D), Brandon Hagel (F), Wyatt Kalynuk (D), Philipp Kurashev (F), Kevin Lankinen (G)
Based on all that information, Ben Pope of the Sun-Times offered this likely lineup for Wednesday’s game:
Given this taxi squad roster and Colliton's comments, here are the Blackhawks' projected lines for tonight:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 13, 2021
Forward Zack Smith was added to injured reserve list while Alex Nylander was played on Long-term injured reserve. Four other players remained out: Carl Soderbeg (immigration issues), Kirby Dach, Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook.
The Seabrook absence remains curious, as he was healthy enough to practice with the team before the 2020 postseason, although he ultimately did not play.
Jay Zawaski of 670 The Score cited sources that suggested a new ailment is affecting Seabrook, as his trio of offseason surgeries did not involve this part of the body:
Morning scoop. A source tells me Brent Seabrook has been dealing with back issues and could be back as early as next week.— Jay Zawaski (@JayZawaski670) January 13, 2021
Joining with a leaguewide movement to generate some additional revenue, the Blackhawks became the latest team to announce that their players will have ads on their helmets during the 2021 season. In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, the team revealed that the logo on the roof of Chicago’s home stadium — the United Center — will now be on Blackhawks helmets as well.