With a pair of games north of the border upcoming, the Chicago Blackhawks made a handful of roster moves in preparation for that brief road trip.
Forwards Philipp Kurashev and Mike Hardman were recalled from the Rockford IceHogs, while defensemen Ian Mitchell and Wyatt Kalynuk — who made up the third pairing during Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers — were assigned to Rockford.
Joining those two on the trip to Rockford will be forward Mackenzie Entwistle, who was activated from injured reserve on Wednesday and assigned to the IceHogs.
#Blackhawks roster moves ahead of two-game trip to Montreal and Toronto:— Carter Baum (@CarterBaum) December 8, 2021
• Hardman, Kurashev recalled from Rockford
• Kalynuk, Mitchell assigned
• Entwistle (left ankle) activated from IR, also assigned to IceHogshttps://t.co/36KrSBz0gv
Entwistle hasn’t played since injuring his left ankle on Nov. 7 against the Nashville Predators. In 12 games with the Blackhawks this season, Entwistle had two goals and one assist while averaging 11:01 of ice time per game. Entwistle played in 22 games with Rockford last season, notching four goals with eight assists but had not been down to the AHL this season after breaking training camp with the parent club.
The other moves should provide for a little more roster balance, as Ben Pope of the Sun-Times pointed out that the Blackhawks had nine defensemen on its active roster ahead of Tuesday’s game. With Connor Murphy apparently close to a return from his concussion and Jake McCabe back after attending to family matters, the demotion of Kalynuk and Mitchell suggests that veteran duo should be back on the ice soon — perhaps on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens.