The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t move any more roster players today, so their trade of Max Domi to the Dallas Stars last night was the last one they’ll make until the offseason. This means that some of the players rumored to be on the block — most notably Connor Murphy and Andreas Athanasiou — will remain with the team for the final 21 games.
The Blackhawks did make a minor NHL/AHL transaction right before the deadline in acquiring forward Austin Wagner from the Los Angeles Kings for future considerations.
At the buzzer! pic.twitter.com/sExeRBxdkT— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 3, 2023
Wagner is in the final season of a three-year deal and was originally a fourth-round pick (99th overall) by the Kings in the loaded 2015 draft. He has nine goals in 24 AHL games this season for LA’s AHL affiliate in Ontario. He is, however, expected to join the Blackhawks and not the IceHogs.
Wagner, by the way, is coming to the Blackhawks, not Rockford.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 3, 2023
He's been in the AHL the last two seasons but does have 171 games of NHL experience.
Meanwhile a player that they acquired back on Feb. 22 — defenseman Nikita Zaitsev — was finally able to join them on the ice this morning at practice. Zaitsev was dealing with visa issues and could draw into the lineup tomorrow night to make his Blackhawks’ debut against the Nashville Predators.
Zaitsev was told his 10-day wait for his U.S. visa was "actually pretty fast." But to him...— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 3, 2023
"It was like a year. I can’t stand without practicing with the team."
Behold arguably the worst roster ever assembled in the cap-era NHL. Blackhawks practice lines:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 3, 2023
Anders Bjork — acquired from the Buffalo Sabres yesterday — is also expected to to debut for his new team tomorrow.
Bjork is flying in this afternoon and the Blackhawks hope he'll debut tomorrow vs. NSH. Sounds like Zaitsev will also debut tomorrow.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 3, 2023
Entwistle is cleared to return from his wrist injury, though he said he'll probably have to play through some pain the rest of the season.
In a corresponding move to make space on the roster, the Blackhawks assigned forwards Brett Seney and David Gust, as well as defenseman Isaak Phillips, to Rockford.
Hogs on the Move: Seney, Phillips, Gust Rejoin IceHogs from #Blackhawkshttps://t.co/XEkQOfvbMy— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) March 3, 2023
Forwards Lukas Reichel and Joey Anderson were briefly assigned to Rockford as well, but only to ensure they’ll both be eligible to skate with the IceHogs in the AHL playoffs.
Paper transactions to make Reichel and Anderson eligible for the AHL playoffs: https://t.co/XBRRr1Zbad— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 3, 2023
One notable player — forward Cole Guttman — was not re-assigned to Rockford however.
Cole Guttman wasn't paper-assigned to Rockford today and isn't eligible for the AHL playoffs, Davidson says.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 3, 2023
The assumption now is that Guttman will stay on the NHL roster for the remainder of the season and should play a lot of minutes for the Blackhawks down the stretch.