Newly re-acquired forward Vinnie Hinostroza joined the Blackhawks for Monday morning practice. The speedy forward drove 19 hours from Fort Lauderdale to Chicago so that he could cut down on his quarantine time and join the team as soon as possible.
Although Hinostroza was expecting a trade, he said that it was a “shocker” that it was the Blackhawks.
“It’s obviously great to be back. It’s nice when you can just drive to the rink and you know where you’re going, walk in and see familiar faces. I’m just super excited to be here, super excited they’re giving me this opportunity. Things didn’t go how I wanted in Florida, but I know I have a lot of game left in me. I’m excited to be here, play my game and do whatever I can for this team.”
Jeremy Colliton had Hinostroza skate primarily with Dominik Kubalik and Philipp Kurashev during practice, but the Blackhawks head coach said that lines were not settled and that Hinostroza was going to have to earn his playing time. Hinostroza on the conversation he had with Colliton during his drive to Chicago:
“He just told me he liked me a lot when he had me in Rockford. He wouldn’t have brought me here if he didn’t think I could help the team, but also he’s not promising anything. I’ve never wanted a handout and that’s not something I’m looking for. I just want a good opportunity, a fair chance. With my hard work and the way I play, I think I’ll be able to earn some time. Whatever I can do to help this team win.”
Blackhawks' lines in practice:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) April 5, 2021
Lankinen & Subban
Kirby Dach confirmed after practice that he was still feeling some lingering pain in his right wrist. The forward has appeared in five games since being medically cleared after fracturing the wrist during a World Juniors pre-tournament game in December.
“Obviously there’s pain with it. It’s a 4-5 month injury and I’ve been playing with it after 3 months... But I don’t see it as an excuse. If I’m playing, I’m expected to be 100% out there.”
Colliton was clear though that Dach was not rushed back to play because he’s too vital to the Blackhawks, both present and long-term. The coach reiterated that not only was some pain expected, he was told actually an indicator that “it should speed it up” Dach’s timeline to feeling 100 percent.
Colliton on if Dach playing now through pain could affect his long-term health:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) April 5, 2021
"No way the medical staff...would have [approved it if so]. He’s too important for us. I wouldn’t be in favor of playing him if that were a concern."
After scoring only one out of 14 power play opportunities over the last five games, the Blackhawks took more time than usual in practice to work on their powerplay. The focus was apparently on zone entries and options off the rush rather than the oft overused drop-pass.
In other player news, Lucas Wallmark was unsurprisingly placed on waivers Monday. The forward hasn’t played since March 18 and had only three assists in 16 games this season. Colliton said the move was to create a roster spot and that the Blackhawks hope Wallmark clears so he can be assigned to the taxi squad.
Wallmark (CHI) and Kero (DAL) on waivers. Both from yesterday clear— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 5, 2021
The Blackhawks next play on Tuesday against the Stars at the United Center.