The Chicago Blackhawks announced via Twitter that they have activated center Artem Anisimov from IR while placing winger Marian Hossa on IR retroactive to December 20th. Hossa is expected to miss the first half of the team’s upcoming road trip which runs from December 27th through January 2nd, according to Scott Powers of The Atlantic. Powers adds that Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville hopes to have Hossa back for the Winter Classic game against St. Louis.
Hossa, who will turn 38 on January 12th, is having a resurgence of sorts with 16 goals and 23 points in 34 contests. Last season, the gifted two-way winger posted the lowest offensive numbers since his rookie campaign in 1998-99, tallying 13 goals and 33 points in 64 games.
Anisimov, who has been out of action since December 17th, is in the midst of a career season with 14 goals and 27 points through 32 contests. His previous best output came during the Russian pivot’s second full campaign when Anisimov registered 18 goals and 44 points in 82 games.
In other Blackahwks news:
- Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times hosted a mailbag segment addressing a number of Blackhawks items, including the team’s goaltending situation. With Artemi Panarin set to hit restricted free agency this summer and the team short on available cap space, one scenario that has been suggested to clear salary is moving starting goaltender Corey Crawford and his $6MM cap charge. While acknowledging Scott Darling’s solid play this season in relief of Crawford and arguing the pending unrestricted free agent will be in the position to look for a starting job, Lazerus argues that job will have to be elsewhere. As Lazerus points out, Darling is already 28 and time is running short for him to find either an outright starting job or at least a timeshare. Also, Crawford is among the best netminders in the league, as Lazerus opines, and the Blackhawks would be best served keeping him between the pipes.
- Scott Powers, writing for The Atlantic, tells the story of defenseman Dennis Gilbert, an unheralded third-round draft pick in the 2015 draft who is quietly developing into one of the team’s top prospects (subscription required). As Powers notes, Gilbert first came to the attention of Chicago evaluators at the behest of Hall of Fame head coach Scotty Bowman, whose son Stan is the Blackhawks GM. Gilbert is currently in his sophomore season patrolling the blue line for Notre Dame and has contributed six assists in 17 games.