With the Chicago Blackhawks off for six days the NHL All-Star break, the team assigned forwards Ben Smith and Brandon Pirri to Rockford of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.
The rookies will remain active while the rest of the Hawks -- excluding wingers Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa who are participating in the NHL All-Star Game festivities this weekend in Ottawa -- get some time off.
Smith has two goals in 13 games with the Hawks this season while Pirri has two assists in five games.
Depending on the health of injured forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp, Smith and/or Pirri could return to the Hawks when they begin a nine-game road trip next Tuesday against the Canucks in Vancouver.
Both Toews (left hand/wrist) and Sharp (left wrist) are expected to travel with the Hawks to Vancouver. Toews could return from his injury suffered Saturday night against the Nashville Predators vs. the Canucks while Sharp is targeted to return sometime during the Hawks' three-game swing through Western Canada to start the trip.
Blackhawks assign Smith, Pirri to Rockford
Hawks send two to Rockford