A day after their amazing 6-4 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, the Chicago Blackhawks have made a trade. In a nifty little exchange, the Blackhawks get goaltender Henrik Karlsson, while the Calgary Flames get a seventh round pick in this year’s draft.
Before you start pointing fingers at Corey Crawford and Ray Emery, let’s make one thing clear: Karlsson is going directly to the Rockford IceHogs. It’s only natural, given that Carter Hutton, the IceHogs starting goalie, is bound to be suspended for his role in the bench-clearing brawl between the IceHogs and Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday. As a result, Kent Simpson was called up from the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye for the IceHogs’ Monday game against the Texas Stars, leaving the Walleye without a goalie. Long story short: Karlsson was badly needed.
So, how is Karlsson? Well, he’s only played in 26 NHL games, but he’s racked up a 2.79 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. Initially undrafted, he spent two years playing in Sweden’s Elitserien before being picked up by the San Jose Sharks in 2009. The Sharks sent him back to Sweden, where he was a starting goalie, and traded him to the Flames in 2010. That fall, he won his very first start (only the third Flames goalie to do so) and played in 16 more games that season. Last season, he was passed up in favor of Leland Irving and spent the majority of his time with the Abbotsford Heat.
Blackhawks fans, calm yourselves. They’re not getting rid of Crawford or Emery. They’re only shoring up the farm team because of a huge, stupid fight. Now, let’s all go back to warming up to cheer the anthem on Tuesday.