The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t make any major moves at the trade deadline, and it takes little more than a glance at their roster move in the past two weeks to understand why. The Blackhawks’ roster depth has helped them be the best team in the Western Conference this season, and could very well be the key to a deep playoff run.
On Tuesday the Blackhawks sent forwards Jeremy Morin and Jimmy Hayes down to the AHL, making room for Marian Hossa to return to the lineup. On many other teams in the league these two young players would be getting a much longer look, but with Chicago they are just one sign of how deep the roster is. Morin has one goal in two games with the Blackhawks this season while Hayes has a goal and two assists in nine games. At the AHL level this season Morin has 27 goals and 49 points while Hayes has 22 goals and 39 points.
The Blackhawks also saw Rotislav Olesz and Steve Montador clear waivers this week, and will leave both players in the AHL with the Rockford Ice Hogs for the time being. Olesz is a veteran of 355 NHL games with the Florida Panthers and the Blackhawks, and Montador has played in 571 games for the Blackhawks and five other teams. Again, on any other team, these guys are probably getting regular shifts at the NHL level.
Roster depth has helped the Blackhawks survive a few big injuries, and as they now get Hossa back and expect Patrick Sharp back soon they are just as dangerous as they were at the beginning of the season.