Marko Dano was expected to be part of the Blackhawks this season, and he still could be. But for now, he’ll start his season in the American Hockey League.
Dano was one of several players reassigned to the IceHogs as the Blackhawks made roster moves on Friday. Coach Joel Quenneville said the move was made mainly to get Dano acclimated to the Blackhawks’ system.
“He’s a young player. He had a decent camp, and he was ordinary in a couple of games. We want him getting pace into his game and getting our system in tune to his game,” Quenneville said. “We just want him playing. There are a lot of guys who were in the same boat,” Quenneville said. “We sent a lot of guys who were competing for the same opportunities here who, down the road, can play. Right now, get playing and hopefully they’re the first ones to get back.”
The Blackhawks’ roster is now at 25.
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The 20-year-old Dano was part of the deal that sent Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He started training camp on the Blackhawks’ top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa but was part of other combinations as camp continued. Quenneville said he talked to Dano about the move, which could benefit Dano moving forward. It’s not the first time the Blackhawks have sent players to Rockford to hone their games — Teuvo Teravainen made a trip or two to Rockford last season and was one of the team’s best players during the postseason.
“When players go down, sometimes players have the tendency to take a while to come around from the shock or disappointment. I think the sooner they get out of that process and get back to knowing, ‘Hey, I’ve got to play my game and my performance will get me here,’ that’s the best remedy for everybody,” Quenneville said. “Get playing hard, get playing well and eventually you get your turn.”
The others reassigned to the IceHogs were: Ryan Hartman, Vincent Hinostroza, Brandon Mashinter, Dennis Rasmussen, Garret Ross, Erik Gustafsson and Ville Pokka. The team’s active roster now includes 13 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.