By Jay Zawaski-
(CBS) Call me crazy, but I’m not sure the best place to develop an athlete is the press box, bench or sideline.
When the Blackhawks announced that Joakim Nordstrom, not Teuvo Teravainen, had been sent down to AHL Rockford following the return of Kris Versteeg, it seemed as if the young Finn had won the trust of coach Joel Quenneville and would be a fixture in the Chicago lineup for the rest of the season.
Fast forward to the Blackhawks’ morning skate Wednesday. The members of the Blackhawks beat tweeted out the lines for the night’s game against the Canucks:
That means Teravainen won’t be in the lineup for Wednesday. So why wasn’t he sent down hours earlier? When asked after practice, Quenneville said that Teravainen needs to play on the top-six, and there’s no spot for him in the lineup right now. Then, when asked a follow-up question, Quenneville responded, “Things change quickly in our business.”
Quickly, as in 40 minutes? Was there no plan here? What changed? Versteeg’s return wasn’t a surprise.
Any Blackhawks fan with a pen can spend time figuring out the team’s lines. Something is missing. I’m willing to give it time to see if Teravainen returns to the lineup for the next two or three games, but if he’s routinely benched, this decision is absurd.
If he’s not going to play, Teravainen needs to be returned to Rockford so his game can develop.
Riding the bike or eating popcorn won’t help him adjust to the NHL game.
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.