By Adam Hoge-
UNITED CENTER (CBS) Steve Montador has been activated for the first time this season, but will not play tonight against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Blackhawks will also be without Michael Frolik for the second straight game as he continues to be hampered by an illness. Head coach Joel Quenneville was unsure if Frolik would make the trip to Colorado for Friday’s game against the Avalanche as there’s some concern about putting him on the team plane if he’s contagious.
Meanwhile, Montador, who has been skating with the team for the last couple of weeks, returns to the active roster for the first time since battling a bad concussion last season. The defenseman suffered the concussion last February, returned for one game in March and then was shutdown for the rest of the season.
But while Montador has been activated, it’s unclear when he’ll see his first game action. Quenneville wouldn’t commit to Montador playing against the Avalanche Friday, as the team will now carry eight defensemen with forward Brandon Bollig being assigned to Rockford earlier in the day to make room for Montador.
“I think the first seven (defensemen) we’ve been playing to date have been playing extremely well and I have to sit one out right now,” Quenneville said before the Blackhawks faced the Avalanche Wednesday night. “It’s always a tough decision and they’re all deserving of playing. We’ll see with Monty working his way back in, it’s something we’ll measure, but certainly the group that’s playing right now we’ve been very happy with and we’ll see how it progresses here.”
On the flip side, the Blackhawks are now down a forward and with Bollig getting sent to Rockford, questions about having enough toughness on the team will naturally rise again.
“I think we have some toughness around our lineup, whether it’s Danny Carcillo, you got Jamal Mayers, Sheldon Brookbank, we’ve got some toughness,” Quenneville said. “I think we have some internal toughness as well. We’ve got a competitive group.”
Adam Hoge covers the Blackhawks for 670 The Score and 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHogeCBS.