The Blackhawks have signed scrappy defenseman Garnet Exelby and assigned him back to Rockford.
Exelby is a physical defenseman who has 584 penalty minutes in 408 career NHL games with Atlanta and Toronto.
Exelby had been playing with the Hawks' AHL affiliate in Rockford on a minor league tyrout contract. He needed to clear waivers to be signed to a NHL contract and did on Friday.
Exelby's signing should put defensemen Nick Boynton, Jassen Cullimore and Jordan Hendy on alert. It's apparent the Hawks need more muscle, especially after Wednesday's loss at San Jose when they were pushed around from the opening faceoff.
In 18 games at Rockford, Exelby was minus-4 with no points and 49 penalty minutes.