Blackhawks' Hendry tears ACL, out six months

Blackhawks' Hendry tears ACL, out six months

Monday, Feb. 28, 2011
Posted: 3:52 p.m. Updated: 8:34 p.m.

By Tracey MyersCSNChicago.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. Jordan Hendry was just starting to integrate himself back into the Chicago Blackhawks lineup. Now his season is over.

Hendry suffered a season-ending torn ACL injury to his left knee on Sunday against the Phoenix Coyotes. The 27-year-old defenseman will have surgery soon, team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement on Monday, and full recovery is anticipated to take up to six months.

The defenseman was hurt early in the third period after taking a hit from Phoenix captain Shane Doan along the boards. Hendry was down for a bit, and needed a lot of help getting off the ice and back to the locker room.

It was a tough end for Hendry, who had been a healthy scratch through a lot of early games but was back in the lineup lately.

Things like this happen unfortunately. He has the one injury you dont want to get, coach Joel Quenneville said prior to the Blackhawks game against the Minnesota Wild. Those were probably his two best games of the year (against Nashville and Phoenix), he looked really involved. We appreciate what hes done for us, and even last year he was an important part of our team.

John Scott filled that sixth defensive role against Minnesota on Monday. Depending on how long it takes newly acquired defenseman Chris Campoli to get to them visa issues the Blackhawks could call up someone from Rockford. Jassen Cullimore, who was with the Blackhawks the early part of this season, is currently injured.

Its disappointing for us, general manager Stan Bowman said. He certainly stuck through it early when he was a healthy scratch. He never complained once. Hes a first-class individual. He was starting to play well so its unfortunate for him and for us. Were just going to have to soldier on.

Leddys return

Defenseman Nick Leddy last played at the Xcel Energy Center in a Minnesota state championship hockey game. On Monday native of nearby Eden Prairie came back in a Chicago Blackhawks uniform for the first time since the Wild traded him to them.

Leddy, who was recalled to Chicago for good on Saturday after doing the Rockford shuffle since January, has made good strides in his game. Playing with Duncan Keith, Leddys learned plenty.

Playing with Duncs, Ive felt comfortable the whole time, Leddy said before the game. He makes everyone better. Hes always talking to me, always helping me out.

Coach Joel Quenneville has mentioned the word poise plenty regarding Leddy this season. He said the rookie had a special game against Phoenix on Sunday, playing more than 23 minutes, a career high. Leddys handled the pressure well through this stretch run.

Especially down the stretch, every games critical, Leddy said. It gets pretty nerve-wracking out there but I guess the adrenaline kicks in. I dont really feel it anymore.

Leddy had about 15 friends and family at the game.

No mas

The Blackhawks did get a defenseman on Monday in what ended up being a somewhat quiet trade deadline day. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said there was a lot of talking, but no additional moves presented themselves. He wasnt disappointed that he couldnt make any more moves.

We said our priority was to get something done and we certainly accomplished that, he said. We were talking to a number of teams about different options but takes two parties to want to make a deal. Only a few willing to trade players away made it difficult. Were very happy with the acquisition we were able to make.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

What to make of Blackhawks blockbuster deals

What to make of Blackhawks blockbuster deals

Before the clock struck noon on a day Chicago was hosting its first ever NHL Draft, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman sent shockwaves throughout the city and hockey world by completing a pair of blockbuster trades within an hour of each other.

The first was dealing three-time Stanley Cup-winning defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to Arizona, and the second involving Artemi Panarin and Brandon Saad in a swap of talented wingers with Columbus.

This comes two days after the Blackhawks announced Marian Hossa will miss the 2017-18 campaign with a progressive skin disorder. That's three core players gone in the blink of an eye.

Who's ready for a new era in Chicago?

Rather than maximizing a championship window that was viewed as closing quickly, Bowman has elected to take a long-term approach and it might not be the worst idea.

There's no doubt the loss of Hjalmarsson, who remains one of the most underrated blue liners in the league, and Panarin, who finished in the top-10 in scoring among forwards in both of his first two NHL seasons, will sting.

But there's a good chance the Blackhawks wouldn't have been able to reward them with the pay raises they deserve after their contracts expire following the 2018-19 season, and that certainly played a huge role in the decision to head in a new direction.

In reacquiring Saad, the Blackhawks finally give Jonathan Toews that reliable left-winger they've desperately lacked since Saad was shipped out of town in 2015, providing balance throughout the top-six. Saad is also locked up for the next four years at a $6 million cap hit that will look better as time goes by.

For the last two years, the Blackhawks were known as a one-line scoring team thanks to the chemistry developed between Patrick Kane and Panarin.

The second-half emergence of Nick Schmaltz and familiarity Kane has developed with center Artem Anisimov has allowed Panarin to become expendable in their quest to solve their top-line woes. And that's not a bad consolation line, especially when you consider top prospect Alex DeBrincat could also be in the cards as early as this season.

On the back end, the Blackhawks receive a 24-year-old defenseman in Connor Murphy, who's also signed for the next four years at a $3.85 million cap hit, and carries a right-handed shot, something they've needed more of in the organization. While there will certainly be growing pains under Joel Quenneville, Murphy's ceiling is fairly high and gives the Blackhawks some speed coming out of their own zone.

In making both of these deals, the Blackhawks got younger in their attempt to keep up with a league that relies more on speed, addressing a few areas that Nashville exposed during their first-round sweep of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.

And while they may have sacrificed two key players in the short-term, the Blackhawks executed a plan that should keep the perceived championship window open longer than expected.

Saad Day: Blackhawks deal Artemi Panarin for familiar face

Saad Day: Blackhawks deal Artemi Panarin for familiar face

When the Blackhawks found Artemi Panarin, they found a talent who was NHL ready from the start, who found instant chemistry with Patrick Kane and earned a Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. It was also a tremendous panacea for a team that couldn’t pull off a deal to keep Brandon Saad, who was the power forward that fit in beautifully in the Blackhawks’ top six.

On Friday, the Blackhawks brought Saad back and dealt Panarin to do it.   

Saad returns to the Blackhawks, who also acquire goaltender Anton Forsberg, in exchange for Panarin and Tyler Motte. The Blackhawks also get the Blue Jackets’ fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL draft and the Columbus gets Chicago’s sixth-round pick from this weekend’s draft. Elliotte Friedman was the first to report the deal. The Blackhawks inherit Saad’s deal, which has four years remaining at a $6 million cap hit. Panarin was about to enter his current deal, which is two years with a $6 million cap hit. This is key for the immediate future; when Panarin’s latest deal is up, if he keeps up at his current pace, he’ll likely sign for a lot more.

[MORE: Blackhawks deal Hjalmarsson to Arizona]

The Blackhawks have missed Saad terribly since his departure. The team has struggled to find consistent line mates with Jonathan Toews, especially at that left-wing position. They did fairly well with Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik flanking Toews this season but it wasn’t as strong as the Saad-Toews combination. So it looks like the Blackhawks’ top line will be solidified again.

Now, what about the second line? As good as Toews and Saad’s chemistry was, Panarin’s and Kane’s was dynamite. The two had their respective skill, which they flashed often, and their ability to read each other was evident from the start. The Blackhawks’ second line was as consistent and steady the past two seasons as the top line was during Saad’s time here.

So, there are changes. The Blackhawks will absolutely miss what Panarin brings. But as far as bringing back a former Blackhawks player who could help in the present, getting the 24-year-old Saad back will be very beneficial.