The Blackhawks recalled defenseman Ville Pokka from Rockford, this morning. They also announced that Cody Franson had been put on injured reserve retroactive to December 9th.
With Jordan Oesterle already filling in for Franson, and Michael Kempny possibly having to back-fill for the recently injured and possibly concussed Jan Rutta, the Blackhawks needed to have an extra defenseman on the roster. Pokka is a surprising pick, because the popular opinion is that Joel Quenneville and the staff are not impressed with his overall foot speed. Offensive talent has never been a question with the Finnish defenseman, but his defensive prowess has been in question.
Either way, the Blackhawks have quickly dropped down their defensive depth chart in the past week, which will only add to the concerns this team has exhibited. I would be personally surprised to see Pokka get much more than a game, unless both Franson and Rutta will be out for an extended amount of time. The extent of Rutta’s injury is not yet known.
That said, It would be nice to actually see him get a shot to show the rest of the NHL what he has. He has not seemingly been in the Blackhawks future plans for a while, but he could probably help a few teams out there. Only time will tell.