By Jim Hagerty
CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks have decided to part ways with Tanner Kero, placing him on waivers Thursday morning, say sources.
The move will make Kero, a undrafted forward out of Michigan Tech University, available to the rest of the NHL. It will also clear a roster spot for Vinnie Hinostroza, who the Hawks sent to Rockford in favor of junior hockey phenom, 19-year-old Alex DeBrincat. Hinostroza has 22 points in 23 games for the IceHogs this season.
Kero has barely skated, however. The 25-year-old has only seen action in eight games, scoring one goal and two assists. He is in the first of a two-year contract he signed in March. His $750,000 cap hit is expected to be attractive on the open market. If Kero clears waivers, he’ll be sent to Rockford, where he started his pro career at the tail end of the 2014-15 season.
A Hinostroza callup could happen as early as Friday.
Joel Quenneville told reporters after Chicago’s 6-2 loss to the Capitals Wednesday that roster moves were likely on the horizon. And with Kero a healthy scratch for most of the campaign, the move is the only one that makes sense to make room for Hinostroza.
The only AHL callup this season has been that of goaltender J.F. Berube, who is currently backing up Anton Forsberg while Corey Crawford recovers from a lower-body injury. Crawford is expected back in the lineup by this weekend, which would send Berube back to Rockford and Collin Delia from the IceHogs to the Indy Fuel of the ECHL. R.