The Chicago Blackhawks won’t have defenseman Michal Rozsival and forward Nathan Noel in training camp due to health issues. The team opened its camp for the upcoming season on Friday, but neither player was able to participate.
Rozsival failed his physical, per GM Stan Bowman, which comes after his agent told The Athletic he was dealing with post-concussion symptoms. He’ll likely open the season on long-term injured reserve, and frankly, there’s a valid question as to whether he should return at all given the risk with head injuries.
At the very least, there’s absolutely no reason Rozy should be rushed back.
Noel, a 20-year-old center likely to open the season in Rockford, suffered a leg injury at the prospect tournament in Traverse City, per The Athletic’s Scott Powers. He’s apparently wearing a brace on his right knee, so it may be a bit before he’s back in playing condition.
The more notable development here is the confirmation that Rozsival isn’t ready to play, which opens up the seventh defenseman spot on the Hawks that he was penciled into. There are a variety of options for how the Hawks could handle this, although Ville Pokka and Jordan Oesterle will likely have a leg up on the competition given they’re not waiver-exempt.