Blackhawks recall Ben Smith
Smith was scratched from his game Wednesday with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL, the same day Rostislav Olesz was put on waivers, clearing a roster spot for Smith. The Blackhawks assigned Olesz to Rockford on Thursday.
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"Ben is coming off an injury and I think he was back down there playing well," coach Joel Quenneville said after practice Thursday. "We felt last year he made a nice contribution to our team, unfortunately he got hurt in [training] camp. I think he had to work his way back. He earned the opportunity."
The 23-year-old Smith suffered a concussion in a preseason game on a hit by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith, who was suspended eight games. He played in nine games in Rockford, notching six goals and four assists.
It means Smith could get a chance on the Blackhawks' third or fourth lines. Bottom-six forward Bryan Bickell's playing time has decreased lately, as he was demoted to the fourth line during Wednesday's 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. He could be a candidate to sit out if all of the forwards are healthy.
Smith burst onto the scene late last season, scoring the winning goal in Game 6 of the Blackhawks' first-round playoff series against Vancouver. He scored three times in the seven-game series.
Quenneville declared winger Michael Frolik questionable for Friday's game against Calgary. Frolik slid hard into the end boards during Wednesday's game and left with an upper-body ailment not believed to be serious. Quenneville ruled defenseman Brent Seabrook out for Friday's game as well.
"He's progressing but he's out," Quenneville said.
Seabrook missed Wednesday's game after falling into the boards and injuring his left leg in a game Sunday. He hasn't skated since.
Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.