CALGARY, Alberta --Even in the midst of a four-game winning streak that has catapulted them to the top of the Western Conference standings, the Chicago Blackhawks are looking to fortify their team.
To that end, the Hawks recalled forward Ben Smith from Rockford of the American Hockey League on Thursday. After playing in six regular-season games and then starring in the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Canucks with three goals in seven games last season, Smith was a candidate to make Hawks' roster to start. The 23-year-old suffered a concussion following an illegal hit from the Detroit Red Wings' Brendan Smith during a Sept. 29 exhibition game and ended up starting the season with the IceHogs.
"Ben is coming off an injury and he was back down (in Rockford) playing," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said following Thursday's practice in Calgary. ""He's been playing well. We felt last year he made a nice contribution to our team. Unfortunately, he got hurt in camp and I think he had to work his way back and he earned the opportunity."
Smith ranks second on the IceHogs with six goals and also has four assists for 10 points in nine games with Rockford.
Smith replaced winger Rostislav Olesz on the roster. Olesz cleared waivers and was sent to Rockford.
Meanwhile, Quenneville said that defenseman Brent Seabrook will miss his second consecutive game with a lower-body injury when the Hawks face the Flames on Friday night at the Pengrowth Saddledome in the second of their six-game road trip.
"He's progressing but he's out," Quenneville said of Seabrook.
Forward Michael Frolik is questionable to play against the Flames with an upper-body injury suffered late in the Hawks' 5-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.
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