Even though the Chicago Blackhawks seem to be figuring things out and have been playing better over the past few games, there is still one thing lacking in their lineup and that is speed. They have some speed within their own system, but are worried to recall him.
Vinnie Hinostroza is averaging a point per game with the Rockford IceHogs with eight goals and 17 points in 17 games.
Hinostroza had another big game against the Chicago Wolves with two filthy goals, one in regulation and then the game winner during the shootout.
WE'RE NOT WORTHY!!! pic.twitter.com/RhrajN42ld— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) November 19, 2017
Ok, this is just getting ridiculous.— AHL (@TheAHL) November 20, 2017
Hinostroza in the shootout, again! pic.twitter.com/QSth2kLinJ
The Blackhawks could definitely use his speed, but there are two reasons why Hinostroza remains in Rockford; the contracts of forward Tanner Kero and Jordan Oesterle. Those are the two most likely candidates to be sent down if Hinostroza were to be recalled, but both would have to clear waivers.
Oesterle is your eighth defensemen who was signed for next to nothing on July 1. He can use the ice time in Rockford because you are getting nothing by sitting him 80% of the time. Players rarely get claimed off of waivers these days and if somebody picks him up, so be it. The championship window is not going to slam shut because Jordan Oesterle is playing for the Florida Panthers.
It just doesn’t make sense to have a player who can help you at the NHL level sit in the AHL because you are afraid of losing your eighth defenseman, who is on pace to play 16 games this year, to waivers.