No timetable for Hjalmarsson's return


No timetable for Hjalmarsson's return

Niklas Hjalmarsson said he knew pretty quickly in his last game that something wasnt right.

The Blackhawks defenseman was playing in his first game back from a suspected concussion last Thursday against the Dallas Stars. And not long into that game, he just didnt feel right.

I felt it pretty fast, said Hjalmarsson, who skated again Wednesday but is not quite ready to return. Its tough to know when youre out for a while, too. I thought to myself, It might have been because I was gone for so long, that I feel a little off balance. Yeah, I just didnt feel 100 percent.

Hjalmarsson will wait until he is 100 percent again coach Joel Quenneville said hell have a better idea Thursday if Hjalmarsson could play this weekend. Its been a tough wait for the defenseman, who wants to be playing with the Blackhawks struggling to stay in the Wests top eight.

Theres not really (a timetable); Im still waiting to feel good and just try to get conditioning up, he said. Obviously I want to get out there. Its been very frustrating for me the last couple of weeks. Its the end of the season and its tight in the standings and I just want to help the team. Right now Im not 100 percent.

Hjalmarsson will probably be watching tonight as fellow Swedish defenseman Johnny Oduya makes his Blackhawks debut.

I obviously havent played on a team with this many Swedes before. Its fun for me, he said. (Oduya) is a good defenseman and right now we need one, so hell be of good use on our team. Ill tell him whos fun to hang around and whos not, like (Viktor Stalberg) and (Marcus) Kruger.

Blackhawks sign prospect Matheson Iacopelli to entry-level contract

Blackhawks sign prospect Matheson Iacopelli to entry-level contract

The Blackhawks officially agreed to terms with prospect Matheson Iacopelli on a two-year entry-level contract that begins next season and runs through the 2018-19 campaign.

He will report to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

The 22-year-old forward recently completed his sophomore season at Western Michigan, where he scored a team-high 20 goals and added 16 assists in 40 games. It was a huge bounce-back year after recording only one goal and six assists in 27 games during his freshman season.

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A third-round pick (No. 83 overall) by the Blackhawks in 2014, Iacopelli possesses a dangerous shot and is a big-bodied winger at 6-foot-3, 206 pounds. His two-way game still needs fine-tuning, something he will certainly work on in Rockford, but he gives the IceHogs another much-needed scorer.

Iacopelli is the fourth Blackhawks prospect to sign this season out of college, joining John Hayden, Anthony Louis and Luc Snuggerud.

Honda Road Ahead: Blackhawks look to get back on track to close regular season

Honda Road Ahead: Blackhawks look to get back on track to close regular season

Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd break down the Blackhawks' upcoming schedule in the latest edition of the Blackhawks Road Ahead, presented by Chicagoland and NW Indiana Honda dealers.

There are less than two weeks left in the NHL regular season and teams are jockeying for playoff seeding.

The Blackhawks have the best record in the Western Conference with 103 points. The Blackhawks' next two opponents, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets, also have 103 points. Washington leads the league with 106 points.

Wednesday the Hawks will travel to Pittsburgh. Two days later they host the Blue Jackets.

After that, the Blackhawks take on the Boston Bruins on Sunday. Boston is in line for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

"There's no easy games from here on out." Konroyd said in the video. "Even teams on the outside, looking in are playing for contracts next year."

Watch the video above to see Boyle and Konroyd discuss the upcoming matchups for the Blackhawks.