Toews out Tuesday, All-Star game unlikely

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Toews out Tuesday, All-Star game unlikely

Jonathan Toews provides so much to this Chicago Blackhawks team. For at least one game, his teammates will have to go without him and everything he brings.

Toews, who suffered an upper-body injury against Nashville on Saturday night, will be out when the Blackhawks host the Predators on Tuesday. Toews is officially listed as day to day, and coach Joel Quenneville said the injury, which prompted Toews departure in the second period on Saturday, is not serious.

Quenneville also said that Toews appearance in this weekends All-Star game in Ottawa is not likely. Asked if Toews could be ready for the Blackhawks Western Canada trek after the break, Quenneville said, well see. Well get a better assessment after (the break).

You certainly miss his leadership, how important he is to our team, Quenneville said. In a game like Saturday, you dont have him in all the areas. It changes the complexion to what our options are.

Toews was slashed on his left arm during Fridays game against the Florida Panthers, although he did finish that game. Asked if that was part of what caused Toews Saturday injury, Quenneville said there was no defining blow.

If nothing else, Toews injury comes at a time when he gets a good chance to recuperate. The Blackhawks have six days in between Tuesdays game and their next, a Jan. 31 game in Vancouver. With Quenneville deeming the injury not serious, the time could certainly be beneficial.

We miss (Patrick) Sharp already. We have to battle but other guys will have a chance (to play), Marian Hossa said. Im sure weve got everything to win the hockey game.

The Blackhawks altered their lines in Toews absence on Monday. Dave Bolland was centering the top line of Viktor Stalberg and Patrick Kane, and Michael Frolik centered the checking line.

Injuries happen to every team every season. The Blackhawks will be missing a big piece with Toews, although they may not be missing him for long. If nothing else, the Blackhawks face another test to see who else in that locker room can step up and help fill a void.

You get tested along the way; everyone absorbs a little bit more, Quenneville said. It adds more to your (overall) leadership when you lose your captain. You find out things, which is good for us.

Blackhawks re-sign defenseman Ville Pokka to one-year deal

Blackhawks re-sign defenseman Ville Pokka to one-year deal

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.

Blackhawks don’t extend qualifying offer to Dennis Rasmussen

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks don’t extend qualifying offer to Dennis Rasmussen

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.