Chicago Blackhawks

Chicago Blackhawks: Michal Handzus Acquired, Dave Bolland Injured

Center Michal Handzus is donning the Indian Head sweater following a trade with San Jose.
Center Michal Handzus is donning the Indian Head sweater following a trade with San Jose.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Jon FromiSenior Analyst IApril 2, 2013

The Chicago Blackhawks picked up a center Monday. They also may have lost one for a few days.

GM Stan Bowman swapped a fourth-round draft pick this summer for San Jose's Michal Handzus, presumably to provide depth at the center position. That depth may be tested sooner than we think.

Dave Bolland left Monday's contest with Nashville after playing just over five minutes in what was to be a 3-2 shootout victory. Blocking a shot in the first period resulted in a lower-body injury that has left Bolland's status as day-to-day, according to coach Joel Quenneville.

Handzus, who was briefly on the ice with the Blackhawks back in the 2006-07 campaign, was not acquired to hold down the middle of the second line. He is winning over 55 percent of his draws, is a larger presence and can aid on the penalty kill.

To expect him to come to Chicago and fill a top-six spot is anything but realistic—ten years ago, maybe. This is a low-risk deal that could pay off at the dot. Handzus is not likely to spark a line offensively.

Bowman has been down this road before with the additions of Ryan Johnson and Brendan Morrison in the past two seasons. Handzus adds experience but shouldn't be counted on to play big minutes.

Bolland, who won 6-of-8 draws before leaving the contest Monday, could be out a game or a couple of weeks. The 'Hawks will probably know more in the next day or so. Marcus Kruger could move up the pecking order on a temporary basis.

Brandon Pirri could get a call from Rockford, but the 'Hawks would have to send someone down to accommodate such a move. Jimmy Hayes took a draw and lined up at center Monday. He was used in the middle in Rockford, though it's debatable if he's ready to man the pivot in the NHL.

Quenneville will have to use some short-term solutions and the Blackhawks will soldier on. However, missing Bolland once again puts a spotlight on Chicago's lack of depth at center.

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