Blackhawks roster is finalized, season starts Thursday vs. Penguins 

The Chicago Blackhawks made some of the final moves of the preseason today. The club assigned forward and Bartlett native Vinnie Hinostroza to the Rockford Ice Hogs.  Also, they placed goaltender Jean Francois Berube and forwards Jordin Tootoo and Tomas Jurco on waivers.  If all three clear waivers, they are expected to report to Rockford as well.  

According to a report, Tootoo was “non-committal” when asked if he will report to the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate if he was asked to do so.  

This is also some indication that the organization is ready to call the Jurco experiment a failure.  The Hawks gave up a third-round pick to the Detroit Red Wings in order to acquire Jurco at the trade deadline last season.  Jurco struggled in the games he played last season, as well as the handful of preseason games he skated for this year.

The moves from this morning left the Blackhawks with 14 forwards, 9 defensemen and 2 goalies. Forwards Marian Hossa and defensemen Michal Roszival and Luc Snuggerud are still technically in the Blackhawks’ roster on paper because they are injured.  The Hawks cannot place Hossa and Roszival on injured reserve until closer to Thursday.  This means that some players will be sent to the AHL on paper tomorrow, and will return to the NHL on paper the following day.  As for the NHL’s decision on whether or not to allow the Blackhawks to place Hossa on LTIR, thereby getting cap relief to the tune of $5.25 million, reports indicate that a decision is coming as soon as this evening.

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