ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Hawks signed veteran defenseman Garnet Exelby Friday and assigned him to the Rockford IceHogs, where he was already serving as captain.
Exelby had a professional tryout contract with the IceHogs. Now, he's part of the Hawks' organizational depth at defense. Officially, he wasn't before he signed.
The Hawks' depth on defense was considered a strength last season, but this year that hasn't been the case. Coach Joel Quenneville has altered his defensive pairings, which included splitting his coveted duo of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, to get more balance.
Exelby, formerly of the Chicago Wolves, is now eligible to be recalled by the Hawks. He's a physical player, recording 584 penalty minutes with the Atlanta Thrashers (2002-09) and Toronto Maple Leafs (2009-10).