Blackhawks

Blackhawks place Duncan Keith on long-term injured reserve

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Blackhawks place Duncan Keith on long-term injured reserve

With Duncan Keith sidelined for several weeks, the Blackhawks placed the defenseman on long-term injured reserve on Wednesday afternoon.

The move wasn’t surprising; Keith is expected out 4-6 weeks after having surgery to repair a right knee meniscal tear. The Blackhawks, according to generalfanager.com, will receive a little more than $5 million in cap relief with Keith on LTIR.

It’s unlikely, however, that the Blackhawks will reap the financial benefits. That relief is only there during Keith’s time on LTIR, which certainly isn’t long enough to make a big move. This is not like February, when Patrick Kane was placed on LTIR with his fractured collarbone and the Blackhawks benefitted because the salary cap was going away in the postseason.

“I’m going to say not likely,” when coach Joel Quenneville was asked about using that extra cap space. “I think we’ve got our group here right now. That’s what we’re expecting to go with right now. I don’t think there’s anything really brewing as far as we’re concerned or know about.”

[RELATED: Blackhawks readjusting to life without Duncan Keith]

The Blackhawks, Quenneville said, are also not planning to call anyone up from the Rockford IceHogs at the moment. So for now, they’ll go with the defensemen and pairings that they have. Brent Seabrook and Viktor Svedberg remained together at Wednesday’s practice. Niklas Hjalmarsson was with Trevor van Riemsdyk and Trevor Daley was with David Rundblad.

Seabrook said he’s talked to Keith since his former defensive partner had his surgery.

“I talked to him last night. He said he’s feeling better. I think he was just resting and relaxing last night,” Seabrook said. “He doesn’t like missing any time. He’s one of those guys he wants to play, wants to be at the rink and wants to be around the guys. So it’s hard to be away for a bit. He’s definitely disappointed but he’ll be ready to go and be better for it.”

BRIEFLY

- Viktor Tikhonov, a healthy scratch against Columbus on Saturday, was back on the Blackhawks’ top line at Wednesday’s practice. “He hasn’t had a ton of opportunity to be in that position or to say that he’s nailed a spot here. But at the same time, he has some ability that he should be able to show us that, hey, he wants to be here, he wants to be a part of the top group and playing with those two guys,” Quenneville said. “Certainly can’t get a better opportunity.”

- Bryan Bickell was on the outside looking in on Wednesday, as he was not on any of the Blackhawks’ lines. “I thought his last game was ordinary, other than that he’s been OK,” Quenneville said.

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

After staying out of the public eye since his historic emergency relief appearance, Scott Foster emerged in Vegas at the NHL Awards and it was perfect. 

The 36-year-old accountant fittingly presented the Vezina Trophy award for the league's top goaltender and joked that he needed to speed it up because he had to get back to work.

Check him out on stage:

What a moment. And well done, NHL. 

Foster stopped all seven shots he faced in 14:01 of action in the Blackhawks' 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 30.

Nashville Predators netminder Pekke Rinne took home the award, but you can't argue against Foster's 1.000 career save percentage.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.