The Chicago Blackhawks are back on the ice Tuesday night for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup as they open the preseason against the Detroit Red Wings. A big crowd should be on hand even for a meaningless exhibition affair and many of the team's biggest names will be suiting up to begin building chemistry for the upcoming season.
Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook (first time wearing the "A"), Teuvo Teravainen and others are slated to play in the preseason opener. It will also be the first chance to see new faces like Trevor Daley, Marko Dano, Artem Anisimov and Ryan Garbutt. Not everyone is suiting up -- including Russian winger Artemi Panarin, who will miss the game due to an upper-body injury -- but fans catching the game at the United Center should still be treated to some entertaining moments.
The big questions that the team needs to decide this preseason largely come with the forward corps. The team effectively set its blue line depth chart last week by re-signing Michal Rozsival, giving the team seven defensemen under contract and little room below the salary cap. The forward lines are largely unsettled at this point, however, beyond the likely placement of Toews, Hossa and Dano on the first line.
For the Red Wings, who don't have a post-championship opening crowd to thrill, the lineup for Tuesday night isn't filled with nearly as many big names. Many of the team's top young players, including Riley Sheahan, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Teemu Pulkkinen, will be suiting up, but you won't be seeing the likes of Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg or Mike Green.
Even if it's preseason, the Blackhawks are finally back. We'll probably be doing things a little different for the preseason since the games don't matter and all, but who cares: let's watch some hockey.
How To Watch
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Where: United Center, Chicago