Coach Joel Quenneville had a brief chat with veteran defenseman Jassen Cullimore about the Hawks' decision to place him on 24-hour waivers.
Cullimore was recalled from Rockford on Oct. 15 when Patrick Kane was sick, but earned a spot on the roster for his steady play. Heading into Sunday's game against the Kings, the 17-year veteran had five assists and a plus-4 in 28 games.
Quenneville has been more than satisfied with Cullimore's play. But on Friday, the Hawks placed him on waivers, which he cleared on Saturday.
Cullimore, though, never left the lineup.
The NHL holiday trade freeze, which went to effect Sunday, was a factor, Quenneville said at first. On Sunday, Quenneville said it was business decision. In other words, with Ryan Johnson now on board with a one-year, $500,000 deal, it's the salary cap. Cullimore also has a $500,000 cap hit.
The Hawks have eight defensemen on their roster if you include John Scott and Jordan Hendry, who have played wing together on the fourth line because of all the Hawks' injuries.
Earlier this month, Hawks general manager Stan Bowman said the Hawks were up against the cap when discussing the Rockford shuffle Jeremy Morin was taking part in. Bowman's goal is to save as much money as he can now for possible moves down the road.
"Once you get to the end of January or February, you can't do it at that point," Bowman said earlier this month. "You can't save additional money. If you can save it now, then save it."
Quenneville made sure to talk with Cullimore.
"When in the middle of it, it's tough to comment on it," Quenneville said. "Afterwards, you're seeing different decisions made - more business decisions than hockey decisions sometimes. You don't want to read too much into it and look ahead. That's kind of where he's been at and where we're at. He's a good pro. He was good about it. I liked his game [Friday] night in that situation."