The dream of the NHL is now on hiatus for Chicago Blackhawks winger Joakim Nordstrom, as he was sent down to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL, where it is unclear how long he will remain. If you recall Nordstrom was a surprise pick out of Blackhawks camp primarily due to his penalty killing ability, but after a lackluster beginning of the year while paired up with Marcus Kruger, it was becoming clear change was necessary.
To his credit, Nordstrom did tally his first career goal and does show a bit of promise. But in addition to being damningly replaceable and underachieving on the penalty kill, Nordstrom’s small 160-pound frame certainly did him in, although he has plenty of time to develop in the AHL.
With regards to replacing Nordstrom, there are not many choices, although Brandon Pirri is now solidified in the Blackhawks lineup as fourth line center. Promotion is not absolutely necessary, however, as it is possible Michael Kostka can be inserted as a forward.
More conventionally, though, would be to bring back Jimmy Hayes from Rockford. At 6-foot-6, he provides size and physicality that Nordstrom simply could not and is a bit more of a scorer than the young Swede. Although the timetable for a promotion is not imminent, the need to address the lack of scoring is.
That is where Jeremy Morin will likely come in. Morin is a versatile scorer with a hard shot and is also a natural fit to the Blackhawks’ puck possession style of play. That style needs reinforcing going forward.
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