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Blackhawks trade Malcolm Subban to Sabres for future considerations

Subban had been playing with Rockford this season.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks made a move on Thursday to open some space in a crowded goalie room up in Rockford, sending goaltender Malcolm Subban to the Buffalo Sabres for future considerations.

Subban, who turns 28 later this month, came to the Blackhawks in February 2020 along with a second-round draft pick and defenseman Stanislav Demin in exchange for Robin Lehner. For the 2021 season, Subban was part of a trio — which also included Kevin Lankinen and Collin Delia — that were given the chance to audition for the long-term spot in the Chicago net. Lankinen grabbed an early lead in that race and never looked back, ending up as the backup to Marc-Andre Fleury this season. Subban had a few strong moments but his overall numbers weren’t great: 6-8-1 record, 3.20 goals-against average, .900 save percentage.

With Lankinen entrenched as the backup for this season, Subban — and Delia — went through waivers unclaimed before being assigned to the IceHogs in October. Those two have been splitting time with youngster Arvid Soderblom, a timeshare that wasn’t ideal for any of the three involved. In five games with Rockford, Subban went 2-2-1 with a 3.38 GAA and .893 SV%.

Subban could find time at the NHL level with Buffalo, though. Former Blackhawks draft pick — in 2001(!!) — Craig Anderson has been the best goalie of the Sabres’ trio, but he’s sidelined with an upper-body injury. Neither Dustin Tokarski nor Aaron Dell have been consistent, so ice time is there for the taking if Subban can find consistent form.