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Blackhawks’ Connor Murphy could miss up to 3 months with back injury

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The defenseman’s rehab will place his return to the lineup around mid-December.

Philadelphia Flyers v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks announced Wednesday that defenseman Connor Murphy will be “off the ice” for six weeks with a back injury. This comes after the team said last Friday that he would be out eight weeks, and marks his return to the lineup around the early- to mid-December range.

Here’s the official statement from the team:

Murphy scores two goals with 12 assists in 76 games last season for Chicago. He averaged a little more than 16 minutes of ice time per game, which was the second-lowest among all defensemen last season.

Along with Murphy’s injury, Brent Seabrook (abdominal) is expected to miss one week and Gustav Forsling remains sidelined as he recovers from surgery to his right wrist. In July, the Hawks said Forsling would miss about three months of action.

With a defensive lineup that is already frighteningly thin, the Hawks will use the preseason to find some young talent in their orginization to fill these missing lineup spots for the beginning of the 2018-2019 season. Blueliners like Henri Jokiharju, Adam Boqvist, and Carl Dahlstrom will be players head coach Joel Quenneville will be watching intently during the preseason. Boqvist is expected to join his junior team, the London Knights of the OHL, while Dahlstrom and Jokiharju compete for a NHL roster spot.