Blackhawks

Blackhawks assign Tyler Motte to Rockford

Blackhawks assign Tyler Motte to Rockford

The Blackhawks have assigned winger Tyler Motte to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League and recalled forward Spencer Abbott, the team announced Tuesday.

Motte, 21, has four goals and three assists in 33 games with the Blackhawks this season.

He got off to a solid start, but hasn't quite bounced back from the lower-body injury he suffered in November that sidelined him for two weeks. He found himself to be a healthy scratch for the first time in his hockey career in December for two consecutive games, and has seen his ice time fluctuate playing a bottom-six role.

[SHOP: Gear up Blackhawks fans!]

A stint in Rockford isn't the worst thing, as it provides a chance to gain confidence and fine-tune your game. Nick Schmaltz was demoted in early December and already has four goals and one assist in seven contests.

The Blackhawks wisely decided to keep Tanner Kero on the roster due to the team's need at center with Marcus Kruger (upper body) out, but also because of his versatility and reliability.

Abbott, 28, leads Rockford with 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 30 games this season.

Blackhawks 'mutually agree to part ways' with assistant coach Don Granato

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks 'mutually agree to part ways' with assistant coach Don Granato

The Blackhawks announced Wednesday that they have mutually agreed to part ways with assistant coach Don Granato. He was hired on June 15, 2017 and spent two seasons with the team.

“We appreciate Don’s contributions to the Blackhawks organization while on the staff,” head coach Jeremy Colliton said in a statement. “We wish him well in the future as he pursues other opportunities.”

The move allows Colliton to handpick his second assistant coach with Sheldon Brookbank remaining on the staff. The responsibilities between Brookbank and Granato were shared this season, but that's likely to change going into next season to a more traditional structure of one assistant coach handling the forwards and power play and the other the defensemen and penalty kill.

One potential candidate to fill the vacant position could be Derek King, who was on Colliton's staff with the Rockford IceHogs and served as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season after Colliton got promoted to Chicago. King is viewed as a player's coach and is well-respected within the organization.

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Evaluating Blackhawks defensemen prospects with Mark Eaton

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AP

Hawks Talk Podcast: Evaluating Blackhawks defensemen prospects with Mark Eaton

On the latest edition of the Hawks Talk Podcast, Blackhawks director of player development Mark Eaton joins the show to evaluate the organization’s top defensemen prospects and where each of them is at in their developments. Which ones could make the NHL jump next season?

Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis offer their takeaways from the Eaton interview and outlook the Blackhawks blue line group as a whole.

1:00 – Eaton on Henri Jokiharju’s development

3:30 – Adam Boqvist’s growth in North America

6:50 – Evaluating Nicolas Beaudin’s progression

8:15 – Surprised about Ian Mitchell’s decision to return to college?

10:55 – Assessing Chad Krys in college and AHL

13:10 – Challenge between stressing defensive side of game but not taking away from who the player is

15:55 – Which defensemen prospects could be in NHL next season?

18:25 – The message Erik Gustafsson’s breakout season sends to prospects

21:15 – Takeaways from Eaton interview

31:25 – Reviewing Blackhawks defensemen contracts

33:35 – Thoughts on Gustav Forsling

35:20 – The challenge for Blackhawks defense this offseason

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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