Blackhawks shelve Desjardins 4 to 6 weeks, trim opening night roster

CHICAGO - There will be a lot of new faces on the ice Wednesday night for the Blackhawks season opener, for a variety of reasons.

A one-game suspension is keeping veteran defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson out of the lineup.

Household names like Shaw and Ladd have moved on to greener pastures.

And the other Andrew, who was expected to help fill the offensive void they left behind is now going to miss substantial time.

Head coach Joel Quenneville surprised the media today, saying Andrew Desjardins will be out four-to-six weeks with a lower body injury, most likely stemming from a blocked shot in Saturday's preseason finale.

An influx of youth will be used to plug some of the holes with six rookies slotted to dress Wednesday night.

Vincent Hinostroza, Tyler Motte, Ryan Hartman, Nick Schmaltz, Gustav Forsling and Michal Kempny all practiced with the team today and appear to be, at least, starting the season on the big league roster.

Another prospect who shined during his stint with Hawks, 19-year-old Alexandre Fortin, was sent to play for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Fortin won't be allowed to rejoin the Blackhawks until his junior league season ends.

Brandon Mashinter and Mark McNeill were the two odd men out for the final 23 spots.

They've been placed on waivers.

If no one claims them, they'll most likely be reassigned to Rockford.