Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Blackhawks wanted to bring in a defenseman with Jordan Hendry healthy and playing well. Did general manager Stan Bowman try to add two when Hendry was ruled out with a torn left anterior cruciate ligament?
“We’ve been focused on getting a defenseman,” Bowman said. “It certainly didn’t decrease our interest. If anything, it probably increased it. Nevertheless, we were working just as hard even before he was injured.
“Those things do happen, and that’s why you lay the groundwork ahead of time. We contacted each [general manager] multiple times leading up to [Monday], so we knew which players were in play. Part of that research led us to be able to close the deal [acquiring Chris Campoli] that we did.”
Essentially, it turned a “want” into a “need.” Hendry will undergo surgery soon to repair the torn ACL, which he suffered in the third period of Sunday’s 4-3 shootout win against the Phoenix Coyotes when he was checked into the boards by Shane Doan.
Hendry signed a one-year, $600,000 deal with the Hawks in the summer and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. His recovery is expected to take up to six months.
“Jordan was coming off his two best games of the year,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “He looked like he was really involved. He had some pace to his game.
“Things like this can happen. Unfortunately, he’s got that one injury that you don’t want to get. We appreciate what he did for us, and even last year, he was an important part of our team.”
With Hendry out and Campoli unable to make it to Minnesota because of visa issues, tough guy John Scott returned to defense against the Wild, his previous team.
Veteran blue-liners Jassen Cullimore, who’s injured, and Garnet Exelby were mentioned by Quenneville and Bowman as candidates to get recalled if the Hawks need more depth.
Nick Leddy, Minnesota’s “Mr. Hockey” his senior year at Eden Prairie High, played his first NHL game in his home state and his first at the Xcel Energy Center since the state championship game.
“To be back in my home state, it’s definitely a little different,” said Leddy, who was drafted in the first round by the Wild in 2009 before being traded to the Hawks on Feb. 12, 2010.
“It’s nice being home. . . . It’s been a great, crazy year so far.”