The Blackhawks will see three players return from injury when they report to training camp July 10, provided medical and safety conditions allow it and an agreement is made by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association.
General manager Stan Bowman confirmed Thursday during a video conference call with media that defensemen Adam Boqvist (concussion) and Calvin de Haan (right shoulder), along with forward Drake Caggiula (right hand), are healthy and expected to be ready.
Boqvist, who had 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 41 games during his rookie season before the NHL paused due to the coronavirus, has been skating with former teammate Erik Gustafsson in Sweden. Caggiula
De Haan is also skating back home in Ottawa. The defensive-minded blue liner had six points (one goal, five assists) in 29 games before re-injuring his right shoulder on a hit by Golden Knights forward Mark Stone on Dec. 10 in Las Vegas.
“He had his surgery right after Christmas and it was originally a four-to-six-month recovery, so we’re pretty much in that timeframe now,” Bowman said of de Haan. “And looking ahead to July 10, I would expect him to be ready.”
The Blackhawks likely won’t see forwards Andrew Shaw (concussion) and Zack Smith (back) and defenseman Brent Seabrook (both hips/right shoulder) return.
Shaw had 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 26 games before he sustained a concussion against the Avalanche on Nov. 30 in Denver that kept him out for the remainder of the season. Shaw, who turns 29 in July, has two more years on his contract with a $3.9 million salary cap hit per season. Chicago re-acquired him with a seventh-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft from Montreal in June 2019 for second- and seventh-round picks in the 2020 draft and a third-round pick in 2021. The Blackhawks acquired a 2020 second-round pick back in the Robin Lehner trade Monday with the Golden Knights.
Smith had 11 points (four goals, six assists) in 50 games before he had season-ending back surgery in early March. The 33-year-old is signed for one more season at $3.25 million on a contract that includes a modified no-trade clause.
Seabrook, 35, had surgeries on both hips and his right shoulder from December to January in his 15th season with Chicago. He has five years remaining on his contract worth $6.875 million annually and a full no-movement clause until 2022, when it shifts to a modified no-trade clause of five teams, then a 10-team NTC in the final year.
“Obviously, Andrew Shaw, his injury is a little tougher to pinpoint with a concussion as far the healing time on that, so I don’t have an update much on him,” Bowman said. “Zack Smith and Brent Seabrook, I don’t have a definite update on them yet other than they’re still progressing through their recovery. We should know more in the coming weeks on both of them.”
The length of training camp and potential start date for the NHL’s Phase 4, the formal resumption of play, will be determined at a future date. The Blackhawks, the No. 12 seed in the Western Conference, are slated to face the No. 5 seed Oilers in a best-of-five qualifying round series.