On Friday, the Chicago Blackhawks recalled winger Vince Hinostroza from the Rockford IceHogs after Tanner Kero had cleared waivers. Kero has been assigned to the IceHogs. The move comes hours before the Blackhawks are set to take on the Buffalo Sabres and according to Joel Quenneville, Hinostroza will be in the lineup Friday night.
Hinostroza will also play tonight. Quenneville wouldn’t say who was out.
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) December 8, 2017
In 23 games with the IceHogs this season, Hinostroza has 22 points (9G, 13A) and ranks 14th in the AHL in scoring. In his NHL career, Hinostroza has played in 56 games with 14 points (6G, 8A) all with the Blackhawks.
Blackhawks Give Hinostroza A Chance
The calls from Blackhawks fans have been boisterous to get Hinostroza into the Chicago lineup after the team got off to a bumpy start to this season and while the move is a positive one for both Hinostroza and Kero, the expectations for Hinostroza should be very tempered.
The thought that the move is all that the Blackhawks needed to do to change their fortunes this season is way overblown. Hinostroza is a very skilled player with a high offensive upside, but he more than likely will play in the bottom-six of the forwards group and not play the role of “savior” to the season.
As per Quenneville, there is no clear decision on who will sit in place of Hinostroza, but if a bottom-six forward were to be the odd-man out, Patrick Sharp could be a candidate after the less-than expected start for him this season. While he was touted as being one of the best conditioned players in training camp, it has not translated to the ice and his production is not on par with what was to be expected of him, even with being over the prime of his career.
Hopefully Hinostroza can provide a spark to the Blackhawks lineup and provide a bit of offense to a team that has had issues consistently finding the back of the net and providing goal-support for Corey Crawford and Anton Forsberg this season. If the Hinostroza call-up doesn’t provide immediate returns, his waiver-exempt status allows him to return to the IceHogs without risk of losing him.
For Kero, the assignment to Rockford allows him to get back on the ice after being a healthy-scratch for 10 consecutive games and give him the opportunity to find him game again.
The Blackhawks take on the Buffalo Sabres Friday night in Chicago and the Rockford IceHogs take on the Grand Rapids Griffins in Grand Rapids.