The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Hine answers a number of questions about the Blackhawks and begins with Michal Kempny’s status as a consistent healthy scratch. Hine indicates it’s a common question and he defers to head coach Joel Quenneville:
“I just think that consistency without the puck and how he defends in his own end is probably the area (where) there’s (room for) growth in his game,” Quenneville said. “But I still think our defense is pretty good and we’ve got some tough decisions on a game to game basis. He adds one more guy we feel can play. But I think the depth, that’s a strength, and sometimes that’s part of the decision.”
Hine writes that Kempny is young and will experience ups and downs. He adds that he expects him to find his way back into the regular rotation again, but that with a roster fortunate with depth, it’s the nature of the beast. However, Kempny found his way into the lineup tonight, but through nearly two periods, his ice time lagged significantly behind those of the other five defenseman. He was also a -3 with just under seven minutes of ice time.
- Hine also addresses potential trades that the Blackhawks could make. He doesn’t see Trevor van Riemsdyk going anywhere, but indicates that the Hawks could make a deal or two at the trade deadline. The caveat is that they will refrain from trading a first round pick because of the draft being held in Chicago. He also believes that since Bowman has relinquished two picks the last two seasons, it’s unlikely, regardless of draft location, that he would give this year’s pick up.