Vinnie Hinostroza is coming home.
The former homegrown Blackhawks prospect and Chicago area native was acquired by the Hawks in a small Friday trade with the Panthers, sending minor-leaguer Brad Morrison the other direction.
Hinostroza will join the Hawks for the final month of the regular season, and he’ll have to treat it as an opportunity to revive his career. The 26-year-old forward appeared in only nine NHL games with the Panthers this season, recording zero points, and is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Hawks general manager Stan Bowman drafted Hinostroza in the sixth round of the 2012 draft and developed him into a solid depth forward; he scored 25 points in 50 NHL games in 2017-18.
But he was dealt to the Coyotes in the Marian Hossa trade that following summer. After an impressive 39-point performance in 2018-19, his play has declined immensely the past two seasons.
The trade is essentially a contract dump from the Panthers’ standpoint (Hinostroza carries a $1 million cap hit). From the Hawks’ standpoint, though, it’s a no-risk opportunity to add a familiar face for a potential playoff push.