When the Blackhawks opening night roster was made public on October 1st, there was a bit of a confusing situation regarding defenseman Calvin de Haan. Per Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times, de Haan was surprised when he heard that he had made the active roster. de Haan has been dealing with a groin issue that has kept him out of every preseason game. Head coach Jeremy Colliton shrugged off the media with generalized answers when asked about the defenseman: “The plan for him doesn’t change: Just try to get ready, and then we’ll tell him if he’s playing or not.”
That whole situation was finally clarified this morning when it was announced that Dennis Gilbert will be replacing de Haan on the Hawks blue line for the season opener against the Flyers.
While the anticipation to see what de Haan can bring to the Blackhawks blue line will be further drawn out, it will be interesting to see what Gilbert has to offer. The 22-year-old defenseman out of Notre Dame got his first taste of the show last season with a one-game stint in April. In training camp and preseason, he impressed the coaching staff enough to stick around in Europe with the team despite technically being assigned to Rockford on Tuesday when the final roster deadline struck.
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