Brandon Mashinter returns to the NHL after two-year wait

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Brandon Mashinter had four goals and three assists in 12 games with Rockford. (Rockford IceHogs)

Brandon Mashinter was getting some groceries Tuesday night when Blackhawks minor-league general manager Mark Bernard called. Bernard asked if Mashinter could return the groceries.

“I said, no, why?” Mashinter recalled. “And he ended up telling me I was coming up.”

Mashinter can deal with some spoiled food, especially when the cause is a trip back to the NHL. Mashinter made his Hawks debut on Thursday night, exactly two years after his last NHL game, on Nov. 12, 2013 with the New York Rangers. Mashinter was the latest forward called up by the Hawks as they take advantage of a fluid salary-cap situation and try to find the right lineup going forward.

“We’re still looking at some thing and still looking for more consistency,” Joel Quenneville said. “He gives us a different look, as well…. He’s earned the opportunity, too, by how he’s playing and what we’re looking for.”

Mashinter nearly made the team out of camp last fall as an enforcer type, but he’s got some finesse to his game, too. He had four goals and three assists in 12 games with Rockford this season, and has 100 goals and 101 assists in 410 career AHL games. He had appeared in 23 games with the San Jose Sharks and Rangers, recording 27 penalty minutes but no points.

Mashinter was named the IceHogs’ captain this season.

“It’s still the same style — big body, play hard, play in their zone, hit and make room for my teammates,” Mashinter said. “I just need to play my game, and it ended up working out well for me. I got this call-up.”

Email: mlazerus@suntimes.com

Twitter: @marklazerus

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