Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger is ready to go again. But fellow forward Daniel Carcillo will need a little more time before hes game ready.
Kruger is in, Carcillo is out and Brandon Pirri has been recalled as the Blackhawks host the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at the United Center. Kruger came on the ice a few minutes into todays morning skate but eventually joined the team, and took his usual spot at No. 2 center with Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa.
Im feeling good, glad to be back out there and Im looking forward to tonight, said Kruger, who suffered a concussion when Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland hit him high in the Blackhawks 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh last Tuesday. I felt a little shaky (immediately after) but I feel good now. Thats whats important.
Corey Crawford will start again tonight after his strong return against Montreal right before the break.
Pirri was recalled this afternoon with Carcillo still sidelined. Coach Joel Quenneville was very happy with how the young center played against Montreal on Wednesday night. He is a plus-2 in two games with the Blackhawks this season.
Meanwhile, Carcillo did skate this morning, but it was the first time in 10 days that he's been on the ice. Quenneville said they'll take some time to get Carcillo's conditioning back to speed before they put him back in a game.
Im not too good but once my lungs stop burning Ill feel better, Carcillo said after the morning skate. With an injury you just have to try your best to stay in shape and when you get an opportunity make the most of it. Obviously I want to be playing.
The Blackhawks dealt defenseman Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick. Kempny had seven points in 31 games this season.
Kempny, 27, recorded 15 points in 81 career games for the Blackhawks. He tallied an assist in Saturday's 7-1 victory over the Capitals.
Kempny signed a one-year extension through the end of this season back in May.
After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.
Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.
"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.
"What was said this time around crossed the line."
The Capitals released a statement about the incident:
"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."
The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.
Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.
"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."
The Capitals released the full interview.