Blackhawks recall goaltender J-F Berube, send Jeff Glass back to Rockford
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Jeff Glass was a great story. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, he wasn’t a good enough goaltender.
The Hawks sent Glass back to Rockford on Thursday, recalling J-F Berube to back up Anton Forsberg. Glass, 32, a minor-league journeyman who spent seven years in the KHL, was called up after Christmas when Corey Crawford was injured (Berube was hurt at the time). He went 2-0-1 in his first three games and had some stellar outings but gave up 10 goals in his last three appearances. In all, he went 3-6-3 with an .898 save percentage.
“I thought he did a great job for us,” center Nick Schmaltz said. “Really cool story, brought a little energy to our team. We obviously didn’t give him as much support as we’d like.”
Berube made one appearance for the Hawks earlier this season, in relief of Forsberg at Washington on Dec. 6. He made 12 saves on 14 shots. In 22 career NHL games, he’s 6-4-3 with an .899 save percentage. He had a .920 save percentage in 15 games with the IceHogs this season, returning from injury this past week.
“Our goaltending, with [Crawford] out, for the longest stretch, did everything it could to get us points and keep us in games,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “Consistency is what we’re looking for. Recently, a few ordinary games, but for the most part, you have to say they did a good job for us.”
The Hawks made a minor trade, sending longtime IceHogs defenseman Ville Pokka to the Senators for center Chris DiDomenico, 28.
DiDomenico had six goals and four assists in 24 games with the Senators this season, his first significant NHL stint (he appeared in three games last season). DiDomenico will report to Rockford, where he played from 2010 to 2012.
Pokka, 23, was acquired in the Nick Leddy trade in 2014 but never got above the AHL level. This was his fourth full season with the IceHogs. He had four goals and 18 assists in 46 games.
Hockey Is for Everyone
The You Can Play project was founded in 2012 to combat homophobia in sports. As one of its initial financial backers and advisers, Hawks winger Tommy Wingels said the ultimate goal is a simple one.
“Just to get rid of the program,” he said. “I think when those issues are out of the game and out of the sport, there’s no need for that program anymore. It’s getting there. It’s on its way. And I think at some point, we will have an openly gay hockey player. I don’t know when that is, but we’re on the right path.”
Brendan Burke, the son of longtime general manager Brian Burke and the brother of NHL senior director of player safety Patrick Burke, was a student manager at Miami University when Wingels played there. He came out while at Miami, and his death in a car crash in 2010 eventually led to the formation of You Can Play to help, in Wingels’ words, “continue on his legacy.”
Thursday was Hockey Is for Everyone Night at the United Center. Aside from You Can Play and the Chicago Gay Hockey Association, the United Arab Emirates women’s national hockey team and the U.S. paralympic-sled hockey team, among others, were in attendance.
Jan Rutta returned to the morning skate but is still on injured reserve. Crawford did not skate, and Quenne-ville still had no timetable for his return, saying he was optimistic that he’ll play at some point this season.
Follow me on Twitter @MarkLazerus.