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Morning Bag Skate: Niklas Hjalmarsson nears return

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Our daily look at Blackhawks news and the happenings around the hockey world.

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Niklas Hjalmarsson could return for the Chicago Blackhawks from a upper-body injury when the team hosts Anaheim on Thursday.

HAWKS

**Shalunov will not join Hawks this season, per report (SCH)

**Former Hawk Brent Sopel talks alcohol, dyslexia (The Players’ Tribune)

**Staying out of the box has been key to Blackhawks’ success (Chicago Sun Times)

**Jurco finding his place with Hawks (CSN Chicago)

**Panarin apologizes for ‘hurtful words’ after racist comment in 2012 video (SCH)

**Surging Panik drawing lofty comparisons (Chicago Sun Times)

**Hawks fans still not welcome in Nashville (SCH)

**Just like old times for Keith, Seabrook (Chicago Sun Times)

CENTRAL DIVISION

**The defining characteristics of a Cup contender (TSN)

**RECAP: Blues give Mike Yeo win against Wild (St. Louis GameTime)

**RECAP: Pickard paces Avalanche to win over Hurricanes (Mile High Hockey)

**RECAP: Predators fall to Ducks in shootout (On The Forecheck)

*Thompson agrees to entry level deal with Blues (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

**Stars owner Tom Gaglardi's fight to cure diabetes is motivated by one thing, his son (Dallas Morning News)

NHL

**Vegas sign WHL Brandon’s Reid Duke as 1st player in franchise history (SBN)

**RECAP: Bobrovsky, Blue Jackets shuts out Devils (Jackets Cannon)

**RECAP: Six Flyers score in win over Sabres (Broad Street Hockey)

**RECAP: Marchenko helps Maple Leafs top Red Wings (Pension Plan Puppets)

**RECAP: Lundqvist, Rangers defeat Panthers (NHL.com)

**RECAP: Ho-Sang helps Islanders past Oilers (Lighthouse Hockey)

**Watch: Ho-Sang’s first career NHL goal (Lighthouse Hockey)

**RECAP: Canadiens top Canucks for sixth straight win (Nucks Misconduct)

**Bruins’ Spooner out indefinitely with concussion (PHT)

**Red Wings lose Sproul for season with ACL injury (Winging It In Motown)

**Jokinen to retire a Florida Panther (PHT)

**Canucks’ Eriksson out 1-2 weeks with apparent leg injury (theScore)

**Caps ink NCAA standouts Bindulis, Gustafsson (SBNCH)

HOCKEY WORLD

**Team USA announces new Women’s World Championship coaches (The Ice Garden)

**WHL Tuesday roundup (WHL)