Chicago Blackhawks Sending Teuvo Teravainen to AHL Is Right Decision

By Sean Sarcu
Teuvo Teravainen Chicago Blackhawks
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Blackhawks assigned Teuvo Teravainen to the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs on Thursday, bringing an end to the dilemma that the young Finn and his entry-level contract presented the team with.

Sending Teravainen to Rockford is incontrovertibly the correct decision. As has been discussed, Teravainen could not have played more than 10 games with Chicago this season (playoffs included) without burning a year off of his exceedingly cheap entry-level deal. Being primed for some salary cap difficulties in the near future, the Blackhawks were likely leaning towards the safe side (keeping him under that 10-game cutoff) even before Teravainen played an NHL game.

Once he did step on the ice for Chicago, such a position was only further strengthened. Make no mistake, Teravainen did not play badly; indeed, he looked about as good as an undersized 19-year-old rookie with no experience on North American ice possibly could have.

Nevertheless, it would have taken something special for Teravainen to earn a permanent roster spot leading into the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he was unable to provide it in the three NHL games that he played. He looked tentative and a tad more defensive-minded than Joel Quenneville and the Blackhawks would have liked to see from a potential second line center.

Teravainen will be able to get plenty of ice time in Rockford, adjust further to the smaller ice surface, bulk up a little over the offseason and return to Chicago next fall as the prohibitive favorite to be the Blackhawks’ second line center in 2014-15.

Sean Sarcu is a Chicago Blackhawks writer for Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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