Blackhawks

Niklas Hjalmarsson back in, Trevor van Riemsdyk out vs. Predators

Niklas Hjalmarsson back in, Trevor van Riemsdyk out vs. Predators

NASHVILLE – Tyler Motte will move up to the second line and Trevor van Riemsdyk will be scratched when the Blackhawks face the Nashville Predators tonight at Bridgestone Arena.

Motte, who made his NHL debut on a line with Marcus Kruger and Ryan Hartman, was skating with Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane this morning.

“It’s the same approach for me. Just a little different chemistry with the line, that’s about it,” Motte said following Friday morning’s skate. “I was comfortable with Krugs and Hartman. Shaking the lines doesn’t change anyone’s mindset. You just try to create a little more offense.”

Motte moved up and down the lineup in preseason games so coach Joel Quenneville doesn’t expect him to have a tough time adjusting.

“We tried him a couple of times. It looks like he can handle playing big minutes, important minutes and playing with some top guys,” Quenneville said. “He gives us a different look as far as getting a little more balance in our lines…. But I still think he’s capable of scoring playing with those guys. He gives us some predictability defensively. He’s had a good camp and we liked his first game as well.”

The Blackhawks did shake up their lines a bit heading into tonight’s game. Artemi Panarin joined Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik on the top line and Marian Hossa, who did not practice on Thursday, was on the third line with Kruger and Hartman.

Meanwhile, with Niklas Hjalmarsson back in the lineup, van Riemsdyk, who’s coming off a tough game vs. the St. Louis Blues, is scratched.

“We have to make a tough decision,” Quenneville said. “We expect [van Riemsdyk] to be one of the guys who will be regularly playing based sometimes on performance, sometimes needs. We need him to be better than he was on opening night.”

[RELATED: Niklas Hjalmarsson to return from suspension when Blackhawks take on Predators]

Blackhawks at Predators

When: 7 p.m.

TV: CSN Chicago

Projected lineups:

Chicago Blackhawks

Forwards:

Artemi Panarin-Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik

Tyler Motte-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa

Vinnie Hinostroza-Nick Schmaltz-Jordin Tootoo

Defensemen:

Duncan Keith-Niklas Hjalmarsson

Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Gustav Forsling-Brian Campbell

Goaltender: Corey Crawford

Nashville Predators

Forwards:

Filip Forsberg-Ryan Johansen-Kevin Fiala

Colin Wilson-Mike Fisher-James Neal

Calie Jarnkrok-Mike Ribeiro-Craig Smith

Viktor Arvidsson-Colton Sissons-Miikka Salomaki

Defensemen:

Roman Jose-P.K. Subban

Mattias Ekholm-Ryan Ellis

Matt Carle-Anthony Bitetto

Goaltender: Pekka Rinne

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

Subscribe:

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