With expansion draft looming, Blackhawks extend Rozsival, Tootoo

SHARE With expansion draft looming, Blackhawks extend Rozsival, Tootoo
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Michal Rozsival has won two Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks. (Getty Images)

The Blackhawks signed Michal Rozsival and Jordin Tootoo to one-year contract extensions, a pair of moves made with the looming expansion draft in mind.

Now that they’re under contract for next season, the 38-year-old Rozsival and the 34-year-old Tootoo — both of whom have been healthy scratches most nights — meet the minimum requirements to be exposed in the draft in June. The Las Vegas Golden Knights start play next season.

The most important result is that the Hawks now should be able to protect Ryan Hartman, though the Hawks still need to expose one more qualifying forward.

It also means both could end up on the roster next season. Rozsival has a goal and an assist in 16 games this season. Tootoo has no points in 36 games.

“Both experience guys, good leadership qualities, well-liked by teammates, carry themselves the right way,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “They like being here, they like everything about being Blackhawks.”

Hjalmarsson out

Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper-body injury) will be out the rest of the week, meaning he’ll miss at least three more games. He has yet to start skating after leaving last Thursday’s game with an apparent back injury after just five shifts. Quenneville was hopeful the defenseman could return on

March 9 against Anaheim.

Darling in

Scott Darling will start Wednesday against Pittsburgh. Corey Crawford (sick) returned to practice on Tuesday, but Quenneville wanted to rest him for a couple of extra days.

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