Chicago Blackhawks forward Lukas Reichel will be a healthy scratch for today’s game, according to head coach Luke Richardson. Reichel will be in the press box even though Anthony Beauvillier will be unavailable for the game today as some of the logistics related to his trade from the Canucks are still to be sorted out.
The Blackhawks are in action today against Winnipeg and have made several roster moves in advance of that game. The team announced that Jarred Tinordi has been activated off injured reserve while blueliner Louis Crevier has been recalled from AHL Rockford. In corresponding moves, defensemen Wyatt Kaiser and Isaak Phillips have been sent to the IceHogs.
Tinordi is returning after missing the last three weeks with an oblique injury. The 31-year-old has played in nine games so far this season, picking up an assist along with 23 hits and 19 blocks while averaging a little under 15 minutes a night. Last season, Tinordi established himself as a regular in the second half, suiting up in a career-best 44 games, helping to earn himself a one-year, $1.25MM contract. He’ll be set to test unrestricted free agency this summer.
Generally, a 6’6 player being added to the roster would be considered a pretty big addition size-wise but Tinordi is the smaller of the two additions to Chicago’s active roster as Crevier stands 6’8. The 22-year-old is in his second professional season and has five assists in 16 games with Rockford, matching his rookie season output. This is his first-ever NHL recall.
As for Kaiser, he made Chicago’s roster out of training camp and has played in all 21 games so far this season after seeing nine games with them down the stretch after his college campaign came to an end. The 21-year-old has four assists in those contests while averaging a respectable 16:34 per game. However, he has struggled a bit in his own end in recent games and this demotion will give him a chance to reset while playing a much more prominent role with the IceHogs.
Phillips, meanwhile, is no stranger to being shuffled back and forth as this is his third demotion of the year already. The 22-year-old has played in nine games with Chicago this season, collecting three assists while picking up a goal and two helpers in eight games with Rockford. It stands to reason that he’ll be one of the first recalls when further injuries arise as the season progresses.
Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Chicago Blackhawks injured defenseman Jarred Tinordi will take some contact in the team’s practice tomorrow before they evaluate if he is ready to return to the lineup. Tinordi suffered an oblique injury back on November 9th in a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning and hasn’t dressed since then.
He was placed on the injured reserve on November 11th; however, it was retroactive to the 9th. The Blackhawks then called up Isaak Phillips from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League to take his place. Phillips has fared well as of late with three assists in his last four games although he has struggled to manage the puck during his NHL run. Tinordi brings more edge and physicality to his game than Phillips, averaging nearly three hits a game this season. However, he is limited offensively having posted just one assist in nine games this season.
In other Blackhawks notes:
- Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Chicago forward Cole Guttman suffered an upper-body injury on Sunday in the Blackhawks loss to the St. Louis Blues and is now day-to-day. The 24-year-old was scratched on Tuesday night in what many had assumed was a healthy scratch capacity but given the news today, it appears that Guttman’s injury kept him sidelined and will likely keep him out of tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings. Guttman has dressed in five games this season for the Blackhawks, registering a single goal which came in the season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- The Chicago Blackhawks have announced that forward Taylor Hall underwent successful surgery on Monday to repair his right ACL. Hall is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season effectively ending his first season with the Blackhawks. Hall was dealt to Chicago in the offseason alongside Nick Foligno and was expected to ride shotgun next to rookie phenom Connor Bedard. Things didn’t work out as planned with Hall registering just two goals and two assists in ten games before the ailment cut his season short.
As Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaches, PHR will be taking a look at what teams are thankful for in 2023-24. There also might be a few things your team would like down the road. We’ll examine what’s gone well in the early going and what could improve as the season rolls on for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Who are the Blackhawks thankful for?
Is there any debate here? Bedard represents the highlight of the Blackhawks’ roster for both the present and future. The 18-year-old leading the way with ten goals and seven assists in 20 games – on pace for 41 goals and 70 points – will be a repeated refrain throughout the next decade-plus. The team has struggled by design, not quite ready to emerge from their rebuild. Some veterans have stepped up to the plate to complement their star teenager. However, the leading point producer among those veterans, Corey Perry, is no longer a member of the organization after a workplace incident earlier this month resulted in the termination of his contract.
GM Kyle Davidson is a close second here. A strong performance at the 2023 NHL Draft in the later rounds has positioned the Blackhawks’ prospect pool even more robust than it already was. But make no mistake – this season is going exactly as planned. They currently rank last in the Central Division, remain in contention for a lottery pick in 2024, and have the rookie performance from Bedard that everyone expected.
Bedard’s strong play also serves the same role Patrick Kane had the past few seasons. His strong point production is boosting the numbers of the Blackhawks’ pending free agents, making players like Nick Foligno and Tyler Johnson likely to fetch better returns at the 2024 Trade Deadline. Jason Dickinson, also a pending UFA, may have the most value with 12 points through 20 games and a +4 rating, but he hasn’t seen much time with Bedard as a fellow centerman.
What are the Blackhawks thankful for?
A strong goalie trade market.
Multiple teams will be looking for help in the crease on the trade market. The Oilers’ need is the most publicized, but tandems for the Devils, Hurricanes and Wild have also stuttered. Those teams could look to make a short-term upgrade.
Luckily, the Blackhawks have one of the more appealing options in Petr Mrázek. While injuries and inconsistency have plagued him throughout his career, he has shown the ability to be a high-end tandem option in a good year. 2023-24 looks like one of those seasons.
With Mrázek in the crease, the Blackhawks’ record is 5-6-0 – much higher than it should be. He’s got a .906 SV% that remains above league average on a porous defensive team and has posted eight quality starts in 11 tries, according to Hockey Reference’s determination. He’s also a pending unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $3.8MM that can easily be reduced via salary retention. There should be callers here. If the Blackhawks retain 50% of his contract to make his AAV $1.9MM for an acquiring team, they should be able to fetch a second-round pick. That would be quite the return on their investment after the Maple Leafs paid the Blackhawks to take on Mrázek’s contract by moving down 13 slots in the 2022 draft.
What would the Blackhawks be even more thankful for?
Signs of life from Lukas Reichel.
This season, the Blackhawks expected big things from Reichel, their 17th-overall selection in 2020. Behind Bedard, Reichel was supposed to anchor the team’s second line and build on last year’s strong showing, during which he notched 15 points in 23 games and put up nearly a point per game in the minors.
Unfortunately, the trains on the Reichel track have all come to a screeching halt. The German-born center/winger has scored just once in 20 games this season and has only five points overall, having a team-worst -15 rating and a 43.1% Corsi share at even strength that ranks near the bottom of the team.
The goal of this season is still development. With that in mind, it’s a bit confusing why there have been no reports of the Blackhawks considering assigning Reichel to the minors, especially given he still carries waiver-exempt status.
For now, it would make sense to keep him on the NHL roster on a performance basis. He’s one of the higher-ceiling players available to the team, and they’re in desperate need of secondary scoring after losing Taylor Hall for the rest of the season with a knee injury. However, given their place in their rebuild, that shouldn’t be the Blackhawks’ frame of thinking. Reichel’s development into a bonafide top-six forward needs to resume without haste. It would greatly relieve the organization if he could get things going one way or another as the calendar shifts to 2024.
What should be on the Blackhawks’ holiday wish list?
A clear, long-term linemate for Bedard coming into view.
Hall was supposed to be the solution to the above question. When the Blackhawks acquired him from the Bruins last summer, he had two years remaining on his contract and was likely to partner with Bedard for almost all of the 164 games he’d play in Chicago on that deal.
Injuries limited (and will limit) Hall to just ten games this season, after which he’ll be a pending UFA and is only signed through 2025.
Bedard is flanked by Foligno and Philipp Kurashev, the latter of whom has produced 12 points in 14 games. However, Kurashev is likely not a long-term top-line option, leaving the Blackhawks with more questions than answers about how they’ll fill out their top unit as they turn the corner to contention.
Could that linemate come in the form of U.S. National Team winger Cole Eiserman, a remarkable goal-scoring threat (25 in 19 games this season) expected to go second overall in 2024? Could it be more playmaking-inclined threats expected to go in the top ten of the 2024 draft, like Finn Konsta Helenius? WHL Spokane forward Berkly Catton? The options will be there for Davidson and company on draft day.
The only other internal option who’s a wing and carries a potential long-term first-line ceiling is University of Michigan winger Frank Nazar, who has 17 points in 16 contests this year after the Blackhawks selected him 13th overall in 2022. It’s important not to rule him out just yet.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Commenting on exactly that, Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press reports that Kane will more than likely make his Red Wings debut next Tuesday, as the team takes on his hometown Buffalo Sabres. With three games in between, Detroit will conveniently match up against both of Kane’s former teams, playing the New York Rangers tonight, and the Chicago Blackhawks tomorrow.
- In a very mysterious and convoluted report from yesterday, the Chicago Blackhawks held a press conference regarding the team’s decision to terminate the contract of Corey Perry. After having been on unconditional waivers for the last 24 hours, Chris Johnston of TSN is reporting that Perry has officially cleared, and is now an unrestricted free agent. Although he is now free to sign with any team, it is incredibly unlikely that Perry will find a new destination given that his contract was terminated ’with cause’.
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet is reporting that the Chicago Blackhawks are expected to acquire forward Anthony Beauvillier from the Vancouver Canucks. Friedman believes that the Canucks will receive a fifth-round pick in return from Chicago in return. The Canucks have been desperate to free up cap space and have been reportedly shopping Beauvillier for weeks but haven’t been able to make a move until today.
The Blackhawks were looking for depth after Taylor Hall went down for the season due to injury and Corey Perry’s contract was terminated earlier today. Beauvillier’s cap hit is just a tick higher than Perry’s at $4.15MM, none of which was retained in this trade. He is in the last year of his deal, meaning that Chicago isn’t making a long-term commitment by acquiring the 26-year-old.
For his part, Beauvillier has been a solid contributor throughout his NHL career, although he has become overpaid in recent seasons due to the flat salary cap. He had a career-high 40 points last season scoring 18 goals and 22 assists in 82 games. Over the past six seasons, Beauvillier has remained consistent, posting at least 28 points in each season.
For the Canucks, they unburden themselves from an expensive contract for the remainder of this season and gain some much-needed breathing room under the salary cap. The Canucks desperately need help on their blue line and will likely take those savings to try and find some help on the back end
The Chicago Blackhawks have placed veteran forward Corey Perry on waivers for the purposes of contract termination. He was 16 games into his first year with the club, scoring four goals and nine points. Perry was previously announced as being away from the team for the “foreseeable future”.
Perry has been missing from team activities since the Wednesday before American Thanksgiving after he was a surprising healthy-scratch as the result of an “organizational decision”. He missed the team’s proceeding Thursday practice and the team shared that they’ve decided Perry should take time away soon after.
Perry joined the Hawks via trade in June, with Chicago sending a seventh-round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the veteran. Chicago then inked Perry to a one-year, $4MM contract extension that set him up for a prominent role with the 2023-24 Blackhawks lineup. Chicago even rewarded Perry with an alternate captain role. He served as one of four alternate captains for the Hawks, who have yet to name a successor to the captaincy that Jonathan Toews held since 2008.
Perry, 38, is nearing the end of an electric hockey career that saw him win the Stanley Cup and win Gold at the World Cup, World Juniors, Hlinka Gretzky Cup, World Championship, twice at the Olympics, and plenty more. He’s one of only a handful of hockey players in the coveted Triple Gold club, which comprises players who have won Gold at the Olympics and World Championship, and won a Stanley Cup. Perry’s dazzling career has amounted to 1,273 NHL games and 892 career points. He added 124 points in 196 career playoff games.
It is unknown whether Perry’s contract termination is mutual, although the Blackhawks have claimed that Perry violated his standard player contract, which would provide grounds for termination even if Perry does not agree.
Chicago Blackhawks rookie Kevin Korchinski won an IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal for Canada last season, but is unlikely to get another chance at glory at this year’s edition of the tournament. As relayed by NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis, Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson says his “inclination would be for [Korchinski] to stay” in Chicago, rather than go to the tournament which begins in exactly one month and is set to take place in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Korchinski has, according to Davidson, “been playing really well,” making his fair share of mistakes as well as excellent plays. The former WHL star is currently scoring at a nine-goal, 27-point 82-game pace, although there is hope that those numbers will see an uptick as Korchinski gets more game experience under his belt in the world’s top league. Currently averaging 19:32 time on ice per game, which ranks third on the entire Blackhawks team, Korchinski is believed by many to be a potential top-pairing defenseman for a future contender in Chicago.
There have been plenty of questions when it comes to Corey Perry’s situation in Chicago. He has missed the last two games due to what head coach Luke Richardson termed an organizational decision although he declined to provide more information than that. Today, GM Kyle Davidson met with reporters including Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago and said that the veteran would be away from the team for the foreseeable future.
While Davidson failed to provide more specifics than that regarding the nature of Perry’s absence, the GM reiterated that this is a team decision, not Perry’s to be away from the team. When pressed about possible reasons by reporters, he stated that it would be irresponsible to rule anything out so he wouldn’t comment on any scenarios.
However, following the press conference, Perry’s agent Pat Morris of Newport released the following statement to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman (Twitter link):
Corey Perry has stepped away from the Chicago Blackhawks to attend to personal matters. Corey and his family appreciate privacy at this time.
Chicago acquired Perry’s negotiating rights back at the draft from Tampa Bay and quickly signed him to a one-year, $4MM deal. While that’s not a typical move for a rebuilding team to make, the Blackhawks clearly identified that they wanted some quality veterans on a young roster, one that added Connor Bedard with the top pick back in June.
While Perry has been more of a supporting cast type of player in recent years with Tampa Bay and Montreal, the 38-year-old has logged a little under 15 minutes a night so far this season and has been relatively productive, collecting four goals and five assists in his first 16 games. With nine points, he sits fourth on the team in scoring.
With the team already missing Taylor Hall – whose ACL surgery is set for Monday – and Perry, that’s a decent chunk of their scoring depth on a team that’s the third-lowest-scoring group in the league. However, Davidson indicated that going and adding a replacement is not something he is looking into right now, suggesting that there are other teams that are far more aggressive in trying to add to their rosters at the moment. At this point, getting into any sort of bidding war for one of those players wouldn’t make sense for the Blackhawks who are still clearly in a rebuilding situation but now will be without another key veteran in Perry for a while yet at least.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Winnipeg Jets have announced that head coach Rick Bowness has returned to the team after taking a leave of absence to be with his wife following a medical emergency. Bowness left the team a month ago and associate coach Scott Arniel served as interim head coach while Bowness was with his family.
Bowness will officially re-join the team and serve as head coach today when the Jets take on the Florida Panthers. Winnipeg surprisingly sits in third place in the Central Division with an 11-5-2 record, they trail division leaders the Dallas Stars by just two points.
Bowness met up with the Jets in Sunrise, Florida today and the team posted a video of the 68-year-old circling the clubs dressing room and greeting the players. The Jets rallied after a slow start to the season and managed to go 9-2-2 in Bowness’s absence. With their head coach now back in the fold, the Jets appear poised to go on a run as one of the feel-good stories in the early part of the NHL season.
In other afternoon notes:
- Tampa Bay Times writer Eduardo A. Encina is reporting that Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy will make his season debut today when the team takes on the Carolina Hurricanes. Vasilevskiy was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate today signalling that he will make his return from back surgery. The 2019 Vezina Trophy winner has yet to dress this season and should provide a jolt to a team that has been treading water early in the year. Tampa Bay is 9-6-5 which is good enough for third in the Atlantic Division and impressive for a team that had to play a quarter of the season without one of the best goaltenders in the world.
- Chicago Sun-Times writer Ben Pope tweeted today that Chicago Blackhawks forward Corey Perry will not play again today and that no further updates have been given. Perry missed practice after being a healthy scratch on Wednesday for what was deemed an ‘organizational decision.’ It appears he will remain a healthy scratch for the time being as the Blackhawks take on the Toronto Maple Leafs this afternoon. Perry has four goals and five assists in 16 games this season and has registered a -6.