Following Tuesday night’s overtime loss to the Avalanche, the Blackhawks hit the ice for a midweek practice while making a few roster changes.
It was announced that the Blackhawks have recalled defenseman Nicolas Beaudin from Rockford. The 22-year-old, who has only played in one NHL game this season, has tallied 6 points in 22 games with the Icehogs.
Blackhawks roster moves:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 5, 2022
- Connolly moved to active roster (still suspended I believe)
- Beaudin recalled to taxi squad
- Gabriel and Regula sent to Rockford
In conjunction with this move, Brett Connolly has been assigned to the taxi squad, while Kurtis Gabriel and Alec Regula have been re-assigned to Rockford.
Coach Derek King stated that he wants Gabriel to be getting ice time, thus the move to Rockford. It should be noted that Gabriel’s recent waiver clearing in Toronto has not expired and thus, he does not have to clear a second time for this move to be made.
King said he'd like to get Kurtis Gabriel playing some games, which is why they sent him to Rockford.— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) January 5, 2022
Kevin Lankinen, who is in COVID protocols, could possibly join the team as they travel to Arizona later on Wednesday, as long as he tests negative for COVID-19.
Kevin Lankinen (COVID protocol) could join the Blackhawks on the road but he has to go through some more testing first.— Tracey Myers (@Tramyers_NHL) January 5, 2022
Between injuries, suspensions and COVID-19, the Blackhawks have had to rotate players in and out of the lineup frequently. It seems as if they intend to use their taxi squad to pencil players into the lineup when needed.
With Beaudin, it sounds like the Blackhawks want to shuffle who is on the taxi squad and not have anyone not playing games for too long.— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) January 5, 2022
Veterans Jonathan Toews and Marc-Andre Fleury were both given maintenance days and did not practice on Wednesday. This is standard procedure and there are no major injuries of note for either player.
Marc-Andre Fleury and Jonathan Toews are taking maintenance days from practice today.— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) January 5, 2022
In other news, following Wednesday’s practice, the Blackhawks made a trade with the Penguins, swapping Alex Nylander for Sam Lafferty.
NEW: Blackhawks have traded Alex Nylander to Pittsburgh for Sam Lafferty.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 5, 2022
Lafferty, 26, had 6 points in 34 games for the Pens last season. He's had trouble cracking the lineup this year: 2 points in 10 games. He hits a lot.
And with that, the Nylander Era ends with a whimper.
The Blackhawks will head to Arizona to take on the Coyotes for an 8 p.m. puck drop on Thursday evening.