ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — Goaltender Collin Delia has a contract with the Blackhawks, but he once again he is back with the IceHogs. His hope was to be on the Blackhawks roster this season, but he told me Tuesday morning after practice that he saw the writing on the wall in July when the Blackhawks’ signed free agent goaltender Robin Lehner.
“When you look on paper and you look at the experience, that’s obviously something that they wanted to grab,” said Delia. “Obviously for me I try not to let it change the way I prepare and your mentality. They obviously made a choice, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t push for that spot. That’s what I did in the summer. I didn’t let it affect me. I just kept churning and preparing the way I had planned. I look forward to being here and contributing as much as I can.”
But Delia knows well that he’s only an injury or an illness to Corey Crawford or Lehner away from being back with the Blackhawks, so his job is to stay sharp and stay ready.
“As a goalie in my position you always have to be ready for anything. Being that bubble guy right now, being a ‘3’ or ‘2B’ or whatever you want to call it you always have to be ready. Your phone has to always be on, have your passport with you on all your trips because you never know what could happen. You’re literally so close.”
Last season Delia, Anton Forsberg and Kevin Lankinen combined to give the IceHogs the top save percentage in the AHL. Forsberg is gone, but Delia and Lankinen give Derek King a strong one-two punch in the nets.
“Obviously Delia coming back is huge for us,” said King. “We’ll get him back in game shape here and ready to go and we’ll see how he does.”