The Blackhawks are still looking to stoke their offense. So on Monday morning they recalled a young player with plenty of potential – and reassigned a long-struggling forward.
Marko Dano was recalled from Rockford while Bryan Bickell was sent to the IceHogs, as the Blackhawks prepped for their game against the Los Angeles Kings tonight.
Dano being brought up wasn’t particularly surprising. He was apparently a healthy scratch in the IceHogs’ game on Sunday night. The 20-year-old Dano has seven points, including six assists, in nine games with the IceHogs this season. Dano was at left wing on the Blackhawks’ third line – with Tanner Kero and Ryan Hartman – on Monday morning. Dano and Kero played together some in Rockford, so there’s some familiarity there.
“They had success down there; right off the bat here, there’s something there,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “They can score and they bring speed to our lineup as well. Defensively they all have a purpose to our game. I think they can help us in ways. That predictability of having a four-line rotation is something that’s been sporadic for us all year, and hopefully they can stabilize and give us something consistent that way.”
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Dano was reassigned to the IceHogs on Oct. 2, a few days before the season began. The 20-year-old forward said he understood why the move happened.
“I felt like I hadn’t done that well to make the team. There were better guys who played better than me, so I understand it,” Dano said. “It happened last year in Columbus, and now I know what to do and just kept working and now I’m back.”
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Bickell was placed on waivers on Oct. 2, when the Blackhawks tried to get the big forward’s game going again. But after clearing, Bickell still wasn’t finding consistency in his game. He was a healthy scratch for several games lately. Since Bickell has played in just seven games since being placed on waivers, the Blackhawks could just send him to Rockford instead of going through the waiver process again.
Quenneville said Bickell went through the expected emotions when he got the news.
“I think when he went on waivers that day he knew this day could happen. It happened, so he was obviously disappointed,” Quenneville said. “It’s always a tough day when you tell a guy like Bicks, who’s been around for a while, that he has to go down. That’s the business we’re in.”
Teammates also felt for Bickell’s situation.
“I think it’s obviously probably pretty tough on him. But again, it’s one of those things that maybe you have to try to move with it. I think he’ll probably do what he can to get better and to come back,” Andrew Desjardins said. “It’s one of those things, it’s hard to comment on because it’s hard; you don’t know the feelings. Obviously there a lot of emotions that go along with that.”