Erik Gustafsson didn’t spend a lot of time up here earlier this season but he definitely left an impression.
Now he’s getting another chance.
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Gustafsson was recalled on Monday and is expected to play when the Blackhawks face the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night. The recall was part of a few moves on Monday. Marcus Kruger was placed on injured reserve to make space for Gustafsson and defenseman David Rundblad was placed on waivers. Rundblad was barely playing this season, so this is either a chance for him to get more playing time in Rockford or get picked up by another team that will use him more.
As for Gustafsson, it sounds like the Blackhawks want to give him an extended look.
“I think he can help our power play and we liked how he played earlier in the year,” coach Joel Quenneville told the media following Monday’s practice. “He played extremely well down there [in Rockford.] We’ll give him an opportunity to get playing and [hopefully] he’ll continue to play the way he played before.”
Gustafsson was one of the young defenseman pushing for a roster spot out of training camp in September. He played in six games earlier this season, recording three assists and showing a good ability to move the puck and find the open forwards.
“I think I tried to show how I play,” Gustafsson told the media of his first stint this season with the Blackhawks. “I like to move the puck, skate with the puck, create some chances on offense. I try to show my game, why they signed me. Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow in the game, play a simple game and try to create some scoring chances for the forwards and for me.”