The Chicago Blackhawks have activated forward Nick Foligno off the injured reserve, and it is expected that he will dress tonight against the Vancouver Canucks. The 36-year-old is just a week removed from signing a two-year $9MM extension with the Blackhawks and has been out of action since January 5th when he stood up for Connor Bedard and fought Brandon Smith after he had hit Bedard and fractured his jaw.
Foligno is in his first season in Chicago after coming over in a trade last summer from the Boston Bruins. He has had an uneven offensive season with five multi-point games sandwiched between four stretches of four or more games without a point. Foligno is likely to find himself in Chicago’s top 6 as the team continues to deal with quite a few injury issues to their forward group. Foligno likely won’t duplicate some of his better offensive years from his time with the Columbus Blue Jackets, but he remains a respected leader and a dependable forward for Chicago.
With the move to activate Foligno, the Blackhawks also placed defenseman Connor Murphy on the injured reserve retroactive to January 16th. Murphy is currently sidelined with a lower-body injury that has kept him out of the lineup for the past four games. The 30-year-old will be eligible to return to the lineup when he is healthy enough to do so and is expected to be back at some point during Chicago’s current four-game road trip. Murphy has dressed in 43 games this season and has two goals and six assists while sporting a -19.