Yesterday I wrote about the Blackhawks having too many defensemen — still — and that they might need to consider moving someone at some point (again). In that, I noted that Alec Regula went to Rockford before and could do that again if/when the Blackhawks were ready to bring Seth Jones back from IR.
Well, after a tough night at the rink against the Blues, Regula is headed to Rockford. The Blackhawks assigned the young defenseman back to the IceHogs on Thursday morning.
Regula wore a minus-three against the Blues and got beat a couple times, but the idea that he was the only issue on the blue line isn’t real. The Blackhawks’ entire group of defensemen has been struggling since Seth Jones left the lineup (we’ve talked about that a lot).
What makes the timing of the move today interesting is a couple factors.
First, we found out yesterday that Seth isn’t coming back as soon as we all hoped; he’s going to be re-evaluated in 10-14 days because he’s still dealing with discomfort with his hand injury.
Secondly, there wasn’t a corresponding move announced (yet). That makes sense — for now. The Blackhawks aren’t practicing today but the IceHogs have a home-and-home series with the Chicago Wolves on Friday (in Rockford) and Saturday (in Rosemont). The Blackhawks are in Boston on Saturday for their next game, but play the Bruins on the road and then return to the United Center on Sunday for the Penguins (and Marian Hossa’s jersey retirement celebration).
After Ian Mitchell went off for four points — including two power play goals — on Wednesday morning, could this be a precursor to him being promoted to join the team for the two games this weekend? The Blackhawks could certainly use his skills on the offensive end of the rink. And the Hawks could make that announcement later today or before practice on Friday.
Mitchell’s performance yesterday showed he’s back in the flow. The Blackhawks’ performance last night was another in a line of struggling offensive performances and the blue line continues to look tired in the roles they’ve been playing in Seth’s absence.
We’ll wait and see if there’s another body coming up from Rockford, but the news on Thursday morning that Regula is headed to Rockford has a few layers to consider.