Jordan Hendry Proving to Be a Reliable Option on the Chicago Blackhawks Blueline

Michael Wagner@MichaelDWagnerSenior Analyst IJanuary 9, 2010

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 26: Jordan Henry #6 of the Chicago Blackhawks prepares to shoot against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center on October 26, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 3-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

It has already been quite a coming out for a few Chicago Blackhawks. Patrick Kane has elevated his game to elite status, Duncan Keith looks like a consistent Norris Trophy threat, and Niklas Hjalmarsson looks like he could be the next great Swedish defenseman.

But one player who has been flying under the radar since the middle of December is "seventh" defenseman Jordan Hendry.

Hendry has been a staple in the 'Hawks lineup since December 16th with Hjalmarsson's illness and Cam Barker's upper body injury.

During that stretch of time Hendry doesn't have the flashy offensive stats that Barker might have or the great plus minus like Hjalmarsson might have been Hendry has just been solid in his own zone and has not made mistakes.

In Hendry's 11 game stretch he has one assist, a plus one rating and two penalty minutes.

Yes, the numbers are unimpressive but in a way they remind you of his defensive partner during those 11 games, Brent Sopel. 

Hendry like Sopel is not one of those defensemen who will light up the scoresheet on a nightly basis but with provide you a solid effort in the defensive zone, block shot and try to minimize mistakes.

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So why is Hendry's emergence on the blueline such a big deal?

Well it's really quite simple, as many realize the Blackhawks face quite a few cap issues heading into the 2010 season and are likely going to need to move two defenseman to help their cap relief.

The two likely destined to be headed out of town are Barker and Sopel so with the emergence of Hendry as a Sopel-like defenseman who can provide some similar tools that he provides. 

Hendry is also a far more affordable option to Sopel as Hendry's cap hit is only $625,000 a savings of $1.7 million towards the cap.

Even though Hendry has only played in about half of the 'Hawks games this season Coach Quenneville's confidence to stick with him makes me believe that he does have a bright future on the teams bottom pairing.

Although Jordan Hendry hasn't put up overly noticeable numbers during his time in the lineup he also has not hurt the Blackhawks defense in any way and has possibly secured himself a spot in the 'Hawks future plans.

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