The Chicago Blackhawks have announced that defenceman Calvin de Haan has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to December 10th. The 28-year-old was removed early from a game against the Vegas Golden Knights. The team announced the move early Thursday morning.
MEDICAL UPDATE: Defenseman Calvin de Haan (right shoulder) has been placed on Injured Reserve retroactive to Dec. 10. #Blackhawks
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) December 12, 2019
Calvin de Haan to Injured Reserve
Calvin de Haan was originally acquired in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. He has one goal and six points in 29 games for Chicago this season. His primary value comes from his physical play as de Haan has 84 hits and 58 blocks shots. Over half of his starts came in the defensive zone and he is currently second among the Blackhawks in shorthanded ice time. He was one of the most important Chicago penalty killers so his absence will be noticeable.
De Haan’s 2019-20 stats are reflective of his career numbers. He has scored just 14 goals and 101 points in 407 career games. His style is very much a throwback to a time when defenders were not nearly as involved with puck movement and offence as they are now. Modern defencemen are far more important when it comes to driving through the neutral zone than they were when de Haan originally entered the league.
What This Means for the Future
Chicago already had one of the poorer defensive groups in the NHL and de Haan’s absence does not change that. Their blue line is a hodgepodge that does a poor job preventing shots. Much of their current success is due to their goaltending duo performing above expectations. The Blackhawks will likely push Olli Maatta even further into a penalty killer role. The organization will also continue to play with its young defender to see who can step into a bigger role for 2020-21.
We don’t know how long de Haan will be out with his shoulder issue but it doesn’t matter much. Chicago is last in the Central Division with very little chance of making a playoff run. De Haan’s injury does nothing to improve Chicago’s chances of another lottery pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.