Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger hasn't arrived at training camp yet because he's still waiting to receive his visa, reports ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers. Kruger's agent, J.P. Barry, confirmed the news to Powers after the team revealed Kruger had not yet joined his teammates at the University of Notre Dame.
"The proper procedures for his visa couldn't be commenced until after he signed," Barry said Friday. "We have been working on with the club and he will arrive early next week."
Kruger, a restricted free agent during the offseason, re-signed with the Blackhawks earlier this month on a one-year, $1.5 million contract. The team always intended to bring the 25-year-old forward back, but needed to clear salary in order to fit his cap hit. Once the team traded forwards Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom to the Carolina Hurricanes, the space was freed to bring Kruger back into the fold.
That situation took a while to play out, however, and Kruger could not begin filing paperwork to return to the United States until he was officially under contract. Now that process is in motion, but apparently it couldn't happen fast enough for Kruger to make it to South Bend, Ind., in time for the opening of camp.
The good news is that there's little reason to believe Kruger's status is in any kind of jeopardy. He'll be back with the team soon enough once the paperwork clears and return to his penalty-killing ways.