The Blackhawks made several roster moves Monday morning, recalling forward Tomas Jurco from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League and sending down forward John Hayden. Shortly after, they placed defenseman Cody Franson on waivers.
Jurco, who was acquired by the Blackhawks last February, has 13 goals and 12 assists for 25 points with the IceHogs this season, and has scored a goal in three of his past four games. The 25-year-old winger was drafted in the second round (No. 35 overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft by the Detroit Red Wings, but has yet to live up to those high expectations.
Hayden has spent the majority of the season on the fourth line, where he developed instant chemistry with Lance Bouma and Tommy Wingels early in the year. In fact, that trio has arguably been Chicago's most consistent.
But Hayden has been quiet over the last couple weeks, and saw his ice time dip to 6:07 — his second-fewest of the season — on Friday in a 5-4 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights before being a healthy scratch in a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.
The interesting move is on the back end.
Franson had earned an opportunity in November to play alongside Duncan Keith on the top pairing and ran with it for a month. But an injury in December forced him out of the lineup for three weeks, and he eventually lost his job to Jordan Oesterle, who has been magnificent in Franson's absence.
Oesterle has seven points in 12 games since re-entering the lineup on Dec. 10, has logged at least 19 minutes of ice time in each of them and has scored a goal in three of his last five games. His emergence essentially put Franson on the outside looking in on a team carrying eight defensemen.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Franson, who's on a one-year, $1 million deal, claimed by another team 24 hours from now.