A new season starts tonight and the Chicago Blackhawks have set their 23-man roster. Most of the spots taken were filled by last year's championship team. However, there were a few surprises in the final spots. The main thing the Blackhawks going for them is depth. With the NHL season being so long and players dealing with injuries, it is important to have players readily available to step in. The Blackhawks sent down numerous players to their AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, who are more than capable of stepping in when the time comes.
Let's take a look at the roster for this upcoming season:
Forwards Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin seemed to have a strong chance of making the team. Pirri dealt with an injury most of training camp and preseason, while Morin didn't stand out enough to earn a spot. Both players were sent back to Rockford where they will be called upon if needed.
Defenseman Ryan Stanton was in competition with defenseman Michael Kostka for the final roster spot. The team liked what they saw from Kostka and put Stanton on waivers. Stanton was claimed off waivers yesterday by the Vancouver Canucks.
The team really liked what they saw out of forwards Jimmy Hayes and Joakim Nordstrom. Hayes showed an improvement in his skating and his hands. His big body will be a great asset for the Blackhawks moving forward. Nordstrom beat out Ben Smith for the final starting spot. Nordstrom should also see a great amount of time on the penalty killing unit, trying to replace the role Michael Frolik had last season.
By taking a look at this roster, it can be seen that the Blackhawks will be a force to be reckoned with once again. They finished the preseason with a 4-0-2 record and are looking to carry that momentum into the regular season.
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