The Chicago Blackhawks made injury roster moves official on Thursday afternoon, moving forwards Kirby Dach and Jonathan Toews to long-term injured reserve, and dedenseman Brent Seabrook to injured reserve.
Dach had surgery on a broken wrist and will miss 4-6 months, so his LTIR designation isn’t surprising. For Toews, who is out dealing with an undisclosed illness, the LTIR designation means he will miss at least the next ten games and 24 days of action for Chicago.
The Blackhawks have moved Kirby Dach (wrist) and Jonathan Toews (illness) to long-term injured reserve. Dach is likely out for the season, but this means Toews will miss at least 10 games and 24 days. Brent Seabrook (lower back, officially) remains on regular IR.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 14, 2021
After multiple reports on Wednesday regarding his absence from training camp, the Blackhawks officially announcd that Brent Seabrook is dealing with a lower back issue. He has yet to join the team on the ice since prior to the training camp before the bubble postseason last summer. With Seabrook being placed on IR and not LTIR means there is a chance we could see the 35-year-old join the team within the next 24 days.
If Kirby Dach is out for four months from the surgery Dec. 28, he could return April 29, with six games remaining for the #Blackhawks.
Jonathan Toews will miss at least 10 games and 24 days, putting his return at Feb. 7 at Dallas.
— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) January 14, 2021
Prior to these moves, the Blackhawks were operating just below the NHL’s $81.5M salary cap with an $81.32M roster. That included the cap hits for Toews ($10.5M) and Dach ($925k). With those players now on LTIR, the Blackhawks will get relief of those cap hits and will be operating with roughly a $70M salaried roster. I wouldn’t bet on the Blackhawks adding $11M worth of players though.
These moves allow them so much flexibility this season, especially around the April 12th trade deadline, to take on dead contracts from teams who will be contending for the playoffs who need cap space. Taking on that dead money around or at the deadline should net the Blackhawks valuable prospects or draft capital in return, should they go that route.