After he exited last night’s game early with a groin injury, we finally got some clarification on Connor Murphy‘s status this afternoon.
Murphy was originally expected to miss at least “a couple of weeks,” but being placed on long-term injured reserve means that it will be closer to a month of missed time. As Ben Pope pointed out in the above Tweet, Murphy will have to sit out at least 24 days, a stretch in which the Blackhawks have 11 games on the schedule. The advantage of long-term injured reserve is that it would provide a bit of salary cap flexibility should the team choose to make another move.
The immediate corresponding move is Dennis Gilbert being recalled from the AHL Rockford IceHogs. Gilbert played in the first game of the season when both Murphy and Calvin de Haan were sidelined with injuries. He had a rough go of it and was assigned back to Rockford when Murphy was good to go. Even though Gilbert returning to the roster, one could expect to see Slater Koekkoek get the first shot at filling the void Murphy leaves on the blue line.
From a fan’s perspective, it certainly would have been exciting to see 2018 number eight overall pick Adam Boqvist get the call over Gilbert. However, Boqvist did miss the past weekend of action for Rockford after taking a puck to the mouth during last Friday’s morning skate, so the coaching staff may be in a position where they don’t want to force the issue on the injury front with their top defensive prospect. On the other hand, he is expected to return to action with Rockford against the Cleveland Monsters on Friday. With a spot to fill on the Blackhawks blue line for 11 games and possibly more, there is still a chance that Boqvist could see his first regular-season NHL action over the next month or so.
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