The Chicago Blackhawks cut their NHL roster to 36 players after their preseason game Friday. The Blackhawks still have to get under the salary cap. Assuming they clear enough room to add a couple more players, here’s a look at who is remaining on the their roster outside of the players who have already locked up spots and their chances of making the team:
Teuvo Teravainen: The slight knock Teravainen took from Cam Barker on the final day of training camp at Notre Dame was a setback to his chances of making the NHL roster out of the preseason. Teravainen sat out the first three preseason games due to the injury and will play in his first game Sunday. He could still make an impact, but he would have had a better shot if he could have impressed in practices and games over the last week. As one source recently said, “He can play in the NHL now. He’s always elevated his game when playing with better players.” But based on the roster, Teravainen is probably going to start the season with the Rockford IceHogs. If he doesn’t have a permanent spot with the Blackhawks, he’s better off playing in every game in the AHL.
Brandon Mashinter: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville wants a physical presence to replace Brandon Bollig in the lineup. Mashinter is one of three players competing for that spot. Mashinter is the one mentioned most among the three as of now. He’s played in one preseason game so far and had 13 shifts, 7:37 of ice time, three hits and one shot on goal. Mashinter would have go to through waivers if assigned to Rockford.
Cody Bass: Bass is in the same boat as Mashinter. Bass has played in two preseason games. He’s averaged 13.5 shifts and 8:27 of ice time. He is a plus-1, has four hits and three penalties, which included two fights. He has to go through waivers if assigned to the AHL.
Pierre-Cedric Labrie: Labrie is in competition with Bass and Mashinter. Labrie has played two games and averaged 15 shift and 11:13 of ice time. He has three shots on goal, five hits and two penalties, including one for fighting. He also requires to go through waivers if assigned to the AHL.
Ryan Hartman: Hartman is expected to return next week after recently suffering a lower-body injury. He will likely get a preseason game or two before being assigned to AHL.
Garret Ross: Ross will likely get one more preseason game and head to Rockford, as well.
Dennis Rasmussen: Rasmussen’s play caught Quenneville’s eye in the third preseason game. He provides size, which the Blackhawks don’t have a lot of organizationally in their centermen. He will also likely be headed to the IceHogs, but he could get a call up this season.
Kyle Cumiskey: Cumiskey is aligning himself to be the surprise of the camp. If the Blackhawks move an offensive defenseman, Cumiskey is the logical choice to make the roster. He carries the puck and skates well and has a good amount of NHL experience. He has an affordable cap hit at $600,000. Plus, there also has to be a concern for general manager Stan Bowman that he won't make it through waivers if they assign him to Rockford. Just like Ryan Stanton last season, Cumiskey has shown enough during the preseason for another NHL team to snatch him off waivers and give him a chance.
Adam Clendening: Clendening, like Cumiskey, is more of an offensive defenseman. Clendening is especially good at shooting and distributing the puck. He could run the Blackhawks’ power play in the future. He’ll get a closer look in the next preseason game or two. The Blackhawks need to be convinced he’s reliable enough defensively. He’ll likely get a chance in the NHL this season, but it may not come out of the preseason.
Klas Dahlbeck: Dahlbeck is the most defensive-minded of the defenseman prospects remaining. He showed against the New York Rangers on Friday he’s also capable of occasionally getting up in the play and making something happen. The Blackhawks liked him enough last season to keep him practicing with the team throughout the playoffs. If the Blackhawks trade one of their stay-at-home defenseman, Dahlbeck could have the inside track there, especially with Stephen Johns being already assigned to the AHL.
Trevor van Riemsdyk: Van Riemsdyk is positioning himself well to get a NHL look sooner than later. He impressed Blackhawks personnel at the rookie tournament, and Quenneville spoke positively about him after their second preseason game. Considering he missed a majority of last season in college with an injury, he’s bounced back well. The Blackhawks may have gotten a steal on the college free-agent market. He may get another preseason game or two, but he’ll probably be headed to Rockford in the next week.
Michael Leighton: Leighton and Scott Darling are likely competing to be the No. 1 goaltender spot with the IceHogs. It’s extremely unlikely, but the Blackhawks could assign Antti Raanta to the AHL without him having to go through waivers and could save a few cap dollars. Leighton makes $200,000 less than Raanta. Leighton stopped 17-of-19 shots in his lone preseason game. Leighton will have to go through waivers if he is assigned to the AHL.
Scott Darling: Darling is also on the cheaper end among the goaltenders. He makes $180,000 less than Raanta. Quenneville has been favorable to Darling's play so far. He stopped all eight shots he faced in the first preseason game. He and Leighton will likely see the net at least once more in the preseason before being assigned to the IceHogs.