2017 Winter Classic: Marian Hossa, Marcus Kruger out vs. Blues

The Blackhawks won’t have two of their key forwards for the marquee matchup at Busch Stadium.

The Chicago Blackhawks will not have forwards Marian Hossa and Marcus Kruger for the 2017 Winter Classic against the St. Louis Blues, reports CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers. The news comes straight from coach Joel Quenneville, who said Sunday that neither player would be available Monday for the outdoor game at Busch Stadium.

Hossa was placed on injured reserve last week after suffering an upper-body injury against the Senators on Dec. 21. It’s unclear exactly what the issue is, but at the time, Quenneville expressed optimism that the winger would be ready to return by Monday. Instead, he’ll sit out again with the team determined not to rush him back.

The situation with Kruger is a bit less surprising. Quenneville said the center would miss two to three weeks after suffering an injury against the Hurricanes on Friday night. That effectively rules him out of the Winter Classic, and presumably a few games after that.

Without those two, the Blackhawks only have 12 active forwards on the roster right now. That’s enough to fill out the lineup against St. Louis, but the team could still want to make a move soon with Kruger not expected back until at least the middle of the month.