The Chicago Blackhawks have promoted Sheldon Brookbank to an NHL assistant, moving him from the AHL where he had previously been an assistant for Jeremy Colliton. Colliton of course took over head coaching duties of the Blackhawks earlier this season when Joel Quenneville was fired, but had not immediately brought Brookbank with him. Anders Sorensen, who had been serving as a development coach for the Rockford IceHogs, will take over as an assistant for the AHL club.
Many will remember the 38-year old Brookbank from his recent playing career, which ended in 2016-17 with the Cleveland Monsters. The physical defenseman actually ended his NHL career with the Blackhawks, and will return to that bench for the first time since 2013-14. The Blackhawks have obviously decided to move to a younger group of defensemen after moving out Jan Rutta and Brandon Manning recently (not to mention waiving Brandon Davidson), and with Brookbank’s promotion have given them another familiar face to help their development along.
- Filip Zadina is heading back to the Grand Rapids Griffins now that his World Junior tournament is over, but certainly didn’t get the experience he or the organization were hoping for. The 19-year old forward was supposed to “be the man” for the Czech team, but ended up with just a single assist in his five games. Going without a goal seemed impossible for a player who makes his living with his incredible shot and recorded seven goals in seven games during last year’s tournament at an even younger age. That lack of scoring is something that has plagued him at times in the minor leagues too, and will need to disappear if he’s to become the player the Detroit Red Wings are hoping for.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs will start Michael Hutchinson again on Saturday night after confirming that Garret Sparks did suffer a concussion earlier this week in practice. Frederik Andersen, who is getting closer to returning from a groin injury, admitted to reporters including Luke Fox of Sportsnet that it’s something he’s dealt with for a while this season. The injury apparently didn’t heal as well as the team had hoped over the holiday break, but shouldn’t keep him out much longer.