Chicago bolsters defense, activates Keith, Rozsival
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks activated veteran defensemen Duncan Keith and Michal Rozsival off injured reserve on Friday in time for Saturday’s road game against Central Division foe St. Louis.
The 32-year-old Keith has missed 10 games with a torn MCL and he is coming back slightly ahead of expectations. Chicago coach Joel Quenneville was happy to have his Conn Smythe Trophy winner back, though he cautioned Keith’s minutes will be closely watched.
“He should enhance all situational plays: power play, penalty killing, 5-on-5, important minutes, first and last shifts of periods and games,” Quenneville said, according to a story on the team’s website. “A lot of times he’s a key factor in all those critical shifts. It’s a big void. I thought defensively we weren’t bad in that stretch, but certainly his presence is going to make a big difference.”
The 37-year-old Rozsival hasn’t played since suffering an ankle injury in the second round of last year’s playoffs. The Blackhawks assigned defensemen Erik Gustafsson and Viktor Svedberg to Rockford to make room for the two veterans.
In St. Louis, the Blues placed veteran forward Martin Havlat on waivers. The team said he is seeking his unconditional release from the team due to personal reasons.
Havlat, 34, signed a one-year contract on Nov. 6. He appeared in two games and had one goal.