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.