Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger kept improving every day he took the ice this past week. Now he's ready to return.
Kruger was activated off the injured reserve list and fellow forward Ben Smith was reassigned to the Rockford IceHogs on Friday morning. The Blackhawks have back-to-back contests in Detroit on Saturday and here against San Jose on Sunday.
The Blackhawks center had been coming back from a concussion sustained around Christmas. He skated hard at practices this week and said he felt better with each passing day and is now cleared for contact.
Smith was recalled for the past two games against Columbus and Minnesota. He scored a goal against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday but played just over eight minutes in the Blackhawks' 5-2 victory over the Wild on Thursday night. Smith has 10 goals and eight assists in 19 games with Rockford this season.
Is there anyone who wouldn't want to play with Patrick Kane?
Jeremy Roenick joined In The Loop on Wednesday to discuss which current Blackhawks he would like to play with, and naturally, the reigning MVP topped his list.
"He would be my No. 1 choice," Roenick said. "There's no question about it."
But Roenick said there are two more Blackhawks he would like to lace them up with.
"I wouldn't mind playing with (Artemi) Panarin also," he said. "I would love to play with Jonathan Toews. I think I'd play well with all three of them."
Roenick also gave high praise to coach Joel Quenneville, saying he is one of the best coaches in all of sports. Roenick even compared Quenneville to "the Bill Belichick of hockey."
See what else the Roenick had to say in the video above.
On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Jamal Mayers discuss the bottom six carrying the Blackhawks to a come-from-behind win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
Later, Mayers weighs in on possible targets with the NHL trade deadline just six weeks away.
Listen to the latest episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast below: