The Blackhawks had three players return to practice Thursday.
Jonathan Toews was ruled “unfit to participate” and missed practice and a scrimmage Tuesday, one day after he left practice early to “stay fresh,” according to coach Jeremy Colliton. Chicago was off Wednesday.
As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information. Toews, however, never participated separately from other players, which has been the case for defensemen Calvin de Haan and Connor Murphy.
“I was unfit to participate, I guess. It really came down to maintenance, nothing serious,” Toews said. “Felt pretty good out there [Thursday].”
Toews scored 60 points (18 goals, 42 assists) in 70 games before NHL was paused in March due to the coronavirus. He has played on a line with Brandon Saad and Alex DeBrincat when during training camp.
De Haan and Murphy also returned to practice. De Haan left for a family emergency July 14 after participating in the first day of training camp. He skated on his own Tuesday before joining the main group Thursday.
De Haan had six points (one goal, five assists) in 29 games before he had season-ending surgery on his right shoulder Dec. 27. He was paired with Nick Seeler in the scrimmage.
Here’s Calvin de Haan directing traffic and getting vocal. pic.twitter.com/oYNjSxPnJW— John Dietz (@johndietzdh) July 23, 2020
Murphy skated for the second time this week and joined practice but did not participate in a scrimmage. He skated with forward John Quenneville and assistant coach Marc Crawford on Thursday after being on his own Tuesday.
“Very positive,” Colliton said of de Haan, Murphy and Toews returning. “All those guys are a big part of our group and we need them. So we’ll keep getting them ready the best we can; [we] still have some time to get up to speed.”
I thought it was a good skate [Thursday], building on the last one we had, and [we’ll] just keep working.”
The 31-man roster the Blackhawks will have traveling to Edmonton must be finalized Sunday, and players are not allowed to join later, excepting emergency circumstances.