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Waiving Boynton could signal deadline move

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



With Monday’s trade deadline looming, there are indications that a move of some sort — be it a waiver pickup or trade — is imminent for the Blackhawks.

Or at least the Hawks appear to be putting themselves in the best position to make one.

The Hawks put veteran defenseman Nick Boynton on waivers Friday. If he’s not claimed by another team, Boynton, a healthy scratch in 18 of the last 22 games, can be assigned to the Rockford IceHogs.

Coach

Joel Quenneville initially said Boynton missed the Hawks’ morning skate Thursday because of an upper-body injury, but that may not be the case. General manager Stan Bowman was not available for comment Friday.

Boynton had a decent start to the season, but his minutes dropped as his struggles and turnovers increased. The rise of rookie

Nick Leddy and the improvement of Jordan Hendry also cut into his playing time.

Boynton, who has one goal and eight points in 41 games, never emerged as a viable replacement for Brent Sopel, which the Hawks had hoped for. As a result, the Hawks are among several teams in the market for help on defense. Getting Boynton’s $500,000 salary-cap hit off the books would help the team bring in the penalty-killer it has been seeking.

Veteran blue-liners Mike Commodore (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Craig Rivet (Buffalo Sabres) were reportedly put on re-entry waivers Friday.

The Hawks also have been linked to ex-Hawk Jim Vandermeer and Ladislav Smid of the Edmonton Oilers and Brett Clark of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Hawks assigned Leddy to the IceHogs on Friday as they continue to improve their financial flexibility. Leddy has completed the Rockford shuffle multiple times this season, including before the Hawks’ victory Thursday over the Nashville Predators.

Slap shots

The only personal concerns Quenneville had after coaching his first game since being hospitalized for a bleeding ulcer was for his voice, which he lost.

“I felt great throughout the whole game,” he said. “I could see coming after the second going into the third my voice all of sudden (was lost). ... It has been idle for a while and you have to raise it a couple of decibels.”

◆ Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson missed some shifts in the third period of the Hawks’ win against the Predators with an upper-body injury. “As far as the severity, we don’t think it’s serious,” Quenneville said.



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