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Blackhawks Bits: Connolly placed on waivers; Kalynuk injured

Some news and notes from Tuesday’s practices.

Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks continue to narrow down their roster as training camp progresses, albeit slowly.

First, they assigned goalie Arvid Soderblom to the Rockford IceHogs, bring the training camp roster to 45. With the IceHogs season starting Thursday, there are likely more assignments to Rockford coming on Wednesday.

Next, the Blackhawks placed Brett Connolly on waivers. If Connolly is assigned to Rockford, he’ll free up a roster spot to make room for younger players and give the Blackhawks $1.125 million in cap space.

Tuesday’s practice likely shed some light on where certain players are in terms of making the Blackhawks opening night roster. The players were split into two groups: one with primarily AHL-bound players and the other with NHL regular / bubble players.

Alex Nylander was with the AHL group, possibly indicating that his showing in the preseason so far means he’s not making the Blackhawks after training camp. That wouldn’t necessarily be surprising, but there is an asset management issue with a potential assignment to Rockford, considering he requires waivers.

The defense pairings have been switched up: Riley Stillman was moved up to play along side Seth Jones while former USA Hockey teammates Jake McCabe and Connor Murphy were reunited to round out the top-four.

Another interesting point there is that Jakub Galvas was with the NHL group. He’s a longshot to make the NHL roster, but coach Jeremy Colliton has had nothing but praise for the 22-year old Czech.

The Blackhawks also spent much of Tuesday’s practice working on the penalty kill — not surprising, considering the disastrous outing against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night. Since the lineup going to Minnesota on Thursday will be primarily filled with younger forwards, the focus was on them during these drills.

In unfortunate news, Wyatt Kalynuk was injured sliding into the boards and did not return after being seen by a trainer. Colliton confirmed after practice that Kalynuk will miss a few weeks with an ankle injury.

The Blackhawks practice again on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. in Chicago before heading to Minnesota on Thursday for their fifth preseason game against the Wild.