By Jay Zawaski-
(CBS) When Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp took a seemingly innocent hit along the boards Tuesday night in a win at Montreal, you could tell by the tone of Pat Foley’s voice that Sharp was in some trouble. When the CSN cameras focused in on Sharp, he tried several times to get off the ice but couldn’t. After the game, coach Joel Quenneville said Sharp would be out “a bit” — which in Q-Speak means weeks, not days.
On Wednesday, a source told 670 The Score that Sharp will likely miss a month with the dreaded “lower body injury” that appears to be a right knee injury. Fans shouldn’t expect Teuvo Teravainen, Mark McNeill or Ryan Hartman to get the call-up either, the source said.
Instead, look for Peter Regin or Joakim Nordstrom to join the club ahead of Friday’s game against the Capitals. On the ice, Regin makes the most sense. He can effectively play center or wing and can also contribute on both special teams units. However, the Hawks would risk losing Regin on a waiver claim if/when they did decide to send him back to Rockford later. With that, I expect it will indeed be Nordstrom who gets the call. Yes, Regin has cleared waivers before, but with the recent rash of league-wide injuries, a cheap, experienced veteran like Regin could be too good for other teams to pass us.
Nordstrom was recently named captain of the Rockford IceHogs, where he has six points in 11 games. He had a tremendous training camp before last season and unexpectedly made the opening night roster. The speed and size of the NHL game quickly caught up with him, however, and he didn’t stick.
When all was said and done, Nordstrom played a total of 16 games, adding a goal and two assists in those contests. He was used primarily in a defensive role with Brandon Bollig and Marcus Kruger on the fourth line, and he has the zone starts to show it — 82.4 percent of his shifts began in the defensive or neutral zones. He wasn’t on the roster to score, and I doubt that will change this year if he is indeed called up.
Look for Jeremy Morin, Bryan Bickell or Brandon Saad to jump back into the top six in Sharp’s absence.
Jay Zawaski is the executive producer of the Spiegel and Mannelly Show on 670 The Score and the Blackhawks columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JayZawaski670.