Just two days after Patrick Kane suffered a fractured clavicle in a win over the Panthers, the Blackhawks are back on the ice against Florida, this time at the BB&T Center.
“It’s definitely disappointing, knowing that he was such a big part of our team and having one of those years," Head Coach Joel Quenneville said prior to Thursday’s game. “It would have been nice to project how things would have finished up for him this year.”
Kane was on pace for the best numbers of his career, and he started the night tied with Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek and Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom for the most points in the NHL. With Kane out for approximately 12 weeks, the Blackhawks will have to rely on their offensive depth.
“As a group, we’re looking for across-the-board contributions, not just one particular guy,” Quenneville said. “There’s some lines here that haven’t scored a lot here lately. If we get some sprinkled-in goals here from everyone, that’s what we’re really looking for.”
One of the guys the Blackhawks can look to offensively to help fill Kane’s void is Teuvo Teravainen. He was recalled on Wednesday and will suit up tonight at center, alongside Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw.
“I thought he played the right way when he was here," Quenneville said of Teravainen, who has two goals and two assists in 15 games with the Blackhawks this season. “I thought defensively he was fine; offensively he had some good spurts.”
Some help could also come via trade before the March 2 deadline.
“I think I’ve talked to almost every team in the last couple of days,” Blackhawks VP/GM Stan Bowman said. “We’re getting pretty close, but until it’s done, it’s not done. You’re never quite sure when they’re going to break.”
Bowman has more room to work than expected. Kane being placed on long-term injured reserve opens up some cap space.
“It’s not the way you wanted to get the cap room, by having your best player out,” Bowman said. “But we’re going to work through it. I have a lot of confidence in our staff that we’re putting together some ideas on things that might work.”
Bowman said he’s open to adding forward or defenseman, but the Blackhawks may have another defensive option in house. Trevor van Riemsdyk was assigned to Rockford on Wednesday, and Coach Q wants the rookie defenseman to spend some time with the IceHogs before returning to the Blackhawks.
“We want him playing some games, get him going,” Quenneville said. “He’ll tell us if he’s ready, or when he’s ready.”
Van Riemsdyk will by joined in Rockford by Spencer Abbott. The forward was traded to the Blackhawks earlier on Thursday in exchange for defenseman T.J. Brennan. Abbott has tallied 127 points (37G, 90A) in 168 career AHL games over portions of four seasons with the Toronto Marlies.