The Blackhawks will welcome a veteran forward back into their lineup tonight as the team announced that center Tyler Johnson has been activated off injured reserve and will suit up against Washington.
The 32-year-old had gotten off to a nice start to his season with two goals and four assists in his first six games. However, in that sixth contest back in late October, he suffered an ankle injury, one that has kept him out for the last 20 contests.
With Chicago certainly isn’t looking to make a push for the playoffs, getting Johnson back and into game shape will help give them some stability in their middle six while he should be able to at least slightly bolster an offense that comes into tonight’s action ranked last in the league in goals scored. He’ll start on the third line for the time being.
While the Blackhawks will be sellers over the next few months, Johnson almost certainly won’t be among those that they’re able to move. He has another year left on his contract after this one with a $5MM AAV plus partial no-trade protection. In this market, with so many teams lacking cap space, that’s not a deal they’re easily going to be able to move.
The team also confirmed that goaltender Petr Mrazek was activated off IR and he will get the start against the Caps. Jaxson Stauber has been returned to AHL Rockford in a corresponding move. However, it’s not all good news on the injury front when it comes to players returning as Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times notes (Twitter link) that defenseman Caleb Jones isn’t quite ready to come back from his hip injury.