Daniel Carcillo is suspended indefinitely pending a hearing for his hit on Oilers defenseman Tom Gilbert, and Marcus Kruger appears to have had a setback as the Chicago Blackhawks returned to practice on Tuesday afternoon.
Carcillo was assessed a five-minute boarding call and a game misconduct for the hit, on which both he and Gilbert were injured. Carcillo, who suffered what appeared to be a left-knee injury, did not practice on Tuesday. Coach Joel Quenneville said Carcillo was still being evaluated on Tuesday and did not have an update on Carcillo's health status.
As for the potential suspension, if there is one, it will be Carcillo's third this season. He was suspended the first two regular-season games for actions late last postseason and two more in late October for his hit on Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen.
Whether it's due to injury or suspension, it seems likely Carcillo will miss some time. Quenneville said the Blackhawks are currently considering calling up a player to fill that open spot.
Meanwhile, Quenneville said Kruger was "not so good today." The young center had been progressing, although he had yet to skate again after getting re-injured on Dec. 26 against Columbus.
Steve Montador did not practice on Tuesday but Quenneville said he's getting better and hopes the defenseman is back on the ice soon.
The Blackhawks signed Ville Pokka to a one-year contract on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old Pokka played in all 76 regular-season games for the Rockford IceHogs last season, recording six goals and 24 assists.
The Blackhawks’ defensive depth has already taken a hit this offseason, with Niklas Hjalmarsson traded to Arizona – Connor Murphy came here in the deal – and Trevor van Riemsdyk, selected by the Vegas Golden Knights, then traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. While the Blackhawks will probably explore free-agent options this offseason, Pokka could vie for an opportunity at training camp.
Dennis Rasmussen was not tendered a qualifying offer by the Blackhawks, a source confirmed on Tuesday. Rasmussen will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Rasmussen was coming off a one-year deal worth $575,000. He was expected to be among those the Blackhawks extended qualifying offers – the deadline was Monday afternoon – but he was not.
The 26-year-old played 68 games for the Blackhawks this past season, recording four goals and four assists. He gave the Blackhawks some options, as he also played some wing and was part of the penalty kill. But he was a surprise healthy scratch more often than not as the regular season continued.
The Blackhawks will enter this season without Rasmussen and, if Marcus Kruger is traded, the team will have some holes to fill at center.