The Blackhawks’ opening-day roster appears to be set


After a ton of preseason intrigue, it looks like the Chicago Blackhawks have finalized their forward lines for Wednesday’s regular-season opener versus the Blues at United Center.

Via the Blackhawks’ Twitter account:

Richard PanikJonathan ToewsMarian Hossa
Artemi PanarinArtem AnisimovPatrick Kane
Tyler MotteMarcus KrugerRyan Hartman
Vince Hinostroza — Nick SchmaltzJordin Tootoo

Of note:
— Hossa on the first line. There was talk he might get knocked down to the third line, but the 37-year-old hasn’t been usurped yet. Meanwhile, youngster Alexandre Fortin has been returned to his junior club.
— Coach Q is keeping the Panarin-Anisimov-Kane line together after some preseason experimenting with them apart.
— Plenty of youth and talent (and inexperience) in the bottom six with Motte, Hartman, Hinostroza, and Schmaltz. Veteran winger Andrew Desjardins is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a lower-body injury and has been placed on injured reserve.
— Dennis Rasmussen looks to be the extra forward. Brandon Mashinter and Mark McNeill were placed on waivers today.

As for the defense, young Gustav Forsling is expected to play against the Blues. Remember that Niklas Hjalmarsson will miss that game due to a suspension. Veteran Michal Rozsival is expected to be a healthy scratch, leaving the following pairs:

Duncan KeithTrevor van Riemsdyk
Gustav Forsling — Brian Campbell
Michal KempnyBrent Seabrook