Kyle Cumiskey

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Minus Keith, here’s what the Blackhawks defense will look like tonight

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Tonight against Florida, the Chicago Blackhawks will play their first of many in a row without Duncan Keith on defense.

Keith had knee surgery earlier in the week. He’s expected to miss 4-6 weeks and has been placed on long-term injured reserve.

With Keith out, David Rundblad will draw into the lineup, likely paired with veteran newcomer Trevor Daley. Brent Seabrook is expected to skate with rookie Viktor Svedberg, while Trevor van Riemsdyk will be with Niklas Hjalmarsson.

Those are the only six defensemen on Chicago’s active roster. Three have a ton of experience, three have significantly less.

“I think we’ve got our group here right now,” coach Joel Quenneville told reporters yesterday. “That’s what we’re expecting to go with right now. I don’t think there’s anything really brewing as far as we’re concerned, or know about.”

Options in the AHL include Ville Pokka, the 21-year-old who’s yet to make his NHL debut, and Kyle Cumiskey, who played nine games in last year’s Stanley Cup run, but was used sparingly.

The ‘Hawks host Tampa Bay Saturday and Anaheim Monday before hitting the road for games on back-to-back nights in Winnipeg and Minnesota.

Chicago signs Kyle Cumiskey to one-year deal (Updated)

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Chicago has gained another defensive option and it’s a familiar face.

The Blackhawks announced that Kyle Cumiskey has agreed to a one-year contract.

The financial terms weren’t disclosed, but its a one-way, $575K deal, according to ESPN’s Scott Powers. He had a two-way contract last season, although it was out of the ordinary as he still drew an annual salary of $400K in the minors.

Even with his new deal, he might get sent to the minors. His contract is small enough that the cap hit would be completely buried by demoting him, although he would need to clear through waivers first. On top of that, he’s still a few weeks away from playing due to an injury.

The 28-year-old defenseman spent most of 2014-15 playing for AHL Rockford, but he did end up playing in nine playoff contests with Chicago, including the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final.

Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Niklas Hjalmarsson can be counted on to be the Chicago’s top-three blueliners and Trevor Daley should maintain a regular role as well. If Cumiskey did stay with the Blackhawks, he would be competing with David Rundblad, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Viktor Svedberg for one of the final two spots.

Update: Cumiskey has been waived, per Bob McKenzie.

Chicago surprise: ‘Hawks cut Dano from camp (Update)

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The Chicago Blackhawks sent eight players packing from training camp on Friday, and one name in particular stood out:

Marko Dano.

Dano, a prized prospect acquired from Columbus as part of the Brandon Saad trade, was shipped off to AHL Rockford along with Ryan Hartman, Vincent Hinostroza, Brandon Mashinter, Dennis Rasmussen, Garret Ross, Erik Gustafsson and Ville Pokka.

Reactions on social media were mostly shocked:

Dano, 20, was the 27th overall pick in ’13 and enjoyed a fine rookie campaign with the Jackets last year, scoring 19 points in 39 games. He split the year between Columbus and AHL Springfield, but was a regular contributor for the Jackets by season’s end.

At this year at ‘Hawks camp, he was — at one point — skating on a line with Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews.

With Dano down, it appears as though Kyle Baun, an undrafted free agent signed out of Colgate last season, has made the team at forward.

On defense, the Pokka and Gustafsson demotions suggest that 6-foot-8, 238-pounder Viktor Svedberg has made the team, though that’s based on the assumption Kyle Cumiskey and Michal Rozsival will start the year on injured reserve.

UPDATE: There was some thought that, after Bryan Bickell was placed on waivers, Dano’s demotion would only be temporary. But that doesn’t seem to be the case — today, ‘Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville said he didn’t expect any changes to the roster.

‘Hawks cut Kopecky and Visnovsky

The Blackhawks have released forward Tomas Kopecky and defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky. Both veterans were with the club on a tryout basis.

Kopecky, 33, had two goals and six assists in 64 games last season for the Florida Panthers.

Visnovsky, 39, played 53 games for the Islanders, scoring five times with 15 assists.

With injuries to Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg in Boston, many are now wondering if the Bruins might consider adding Visnovsky at a low cap hit.

Chicago still has cuts to make. The roster now includes 20 forwards, 11 d-men and three goalies.

Hawks

Kyle Cumiskey remains with the ‘Hawks on a tryout basis.

The ‘Hawks recently signed Michal Rozsival to a one-year contract.

Related: Chicago releases Jan Hejda from tryout

Visnovsky headed to Chicago’s camp on PTO (Updated)

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The Chicago Blackhawks have inked another veteran d-man to a training camp tryout — Lubomir Visnovsky.

The news, confirmed by Visnovsky’s agent, Neil Sheehy, comes after the 39-year-old was cut loose by the Islanders following a three-year stint with the club. In his final campaign on Long Island, Visnovsky scored 20 points in 53 games — a decent offensive season — but missed time to injury and the occasional healthy scratch.

Visnovsky, who appeared a step slow at times last season, only played in four of the Isles’ seven opening-round playoff games against the Caps.

In Chicago, though, he should have a decent shot at a contract.

The Hawks’ blueline was thinned out this summer — Johnny Oduya left in free agency, Kimmo Timonen retired, Kyle Cumiskey and Michal Rozsival weren’t re-signed — and there are spots up for grabs, especially at the bottom end, where the likes of Trevor van Riemsdyk, David Rundblad and Ville Pokka project to battle for minutes.

There will be another experienced blueliner fighting for a spot, too. Last week, the ‘Hawks agreed to a PTO with 37-year-old Jan Hejda, who spent the last four seasons in Colorado.

Update: The ‘Hawks have listed Cumiskey and Rozsival on their training camp roster. Former Chicago forward Tomas Kopecky is also listed, presumably on a PTO after spending the last few seasons in Florida. Kopecky wasn’t re-signed by the Panthers this offseason and is still an unrestricted free agent.