Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville revealed today that the team will be without forward Michal Handzus for “a little bit,” reports CSN’s Tracey Myers.
Handzus was acquired from the San Jose Sharks in April and ended up playing a significant role in the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup-winning playoff run. That encouraged them to ink him to a one-year, $1 million contract for the 2013-14 campaign.
The 36-year-old forward has three points in nine games this season while averaging 13:18 minutes per contest. Brad Mills, 30, will replace him on Saturday, according to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc.
Mills should get some playing time in penalty-killing situations, which has been a weakness of Chicago’s this season. Michael Frolik was the team’s leading forward when it came to killing penalties last season and he’s a member of the Winnipeg Jets now.
For Mills, this will be his first game with the Chicago Blackhawks and just his 32nd career NHL contest.
In addition to that, Quenneville will scratch Ben Smith tonight so that 22-year-old forward Jeremy Morin can make his season debut.