The Hawks trimmed their roster by 10 on Monday. Among those sent to Rockford were forwards Mark McNeill and Garret Ross, and defensemen Dylan Olsen, Viktor Svedberg and Adam Clendening. Teuvo Teravainen was officially assigned to Finland, and 2013 first-rounder and Chicago native Ryan Hartman was assigned to the Ontario Hockey League.
While cut-down day can be hard on the players, Quenneville — who went through it himself as a rookie in 1978 — said it’s an opportunity to not only tell players what they need to work on to reach the NHL, but also to praise the progress they’ve made. Quenneville tells each player individually that he’s been cut.
“Earlier on [in my career] it might have been a little more challenging; now I don’t mind it at all,” he said. “A lot of the cuts, it’s positive. Talking to Svedberg earlier today, it was a positive situation where you’re talking about how well he played, how he’s come a long way in a short amount of time.
“Some guys are crushed and some guys are upset, but it’s a tough business. You’ve got to learn, you’ve got to be a good pro about it. Find a way to either prove us wrong, or prove that eventually you’re going to find a way to get there.”
Quenneville expects to make several more cuts in the next couple of days, and likely will have his opening-day roster close to set by the preseason finale on Saturday against Washington.
He said Monday that there were five players competing for three spots. With Jimmy Hayes and Ben Smith seeming like locks at this point, that leaves three guys competing for one spot — and Quenneville said he’s not opposed to keeping an eighth defensemen instead of an extra forward.