In the long run, defenseman Jordan Hendry’s current stint at wing might do him some good whether he’s with the Blackhawks or somewhere else.
“It can’t hurt at all,” Hendry said. “Teams may look at me as a depth guy because I can play forward and [defense]. That can only be a valuable thing to have.”
Hendry has played the last six games at wing as the Hawks recover from their injuries. Coach Joel Quenneville appears content with Jassen Cullimore and Nick Boynton as his final defensive pairing and has liked what he has seen from Hendry.
“His instincts are getting better and better,” Quenneville said. “We love his speed and his quickness. He’s done a nice job.”
Hendry is just happy to contribute after being a healthy scratch 19 times. Hendry’s solid play is one reason why Quenneville decided against putting Viktor Stalberg (concussion) back in the lineup Wednesday against the Predators.
“At this point, if they see me playing forward, then I’m happy there,” Hendry said. “It doesn’t matter to me, even though [defense] is my natural position. I’m just happy to play.”
Quenneville decided against putting Stalberg, who passed all league-mandated tests, back in the lineup, preferring the combinations that defeated the Red Wings and Kings.
“They’ve been successful the last two games,” Stalberg said. “It’ll be good for me to get a few extra days in between and make sure I’m 100 percent.”
Stalberg and Marian Hossa (lower body) took part in the morning skate, while Patrick Kane (ankle) skated on his own.
All three are expected back after Christmas, but neither Kane nor Hossa will be on the ice until Sunday, so their availability against the Blue Jackets is up in the air.
To the Worlds
As expected, winger Jeremy Morin and defenseman Nick Leddy, two of the Hawks’ best prospects, were named to Team USA’s final roster for the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo, N.Y. Morin and Leddy made their NHL debuts and scored their first NHL goals this season with the Hawks.