After a day off, the Blackhawks returned to practice on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s pair of games with the Red Wings.
There was a new addition to the practice lineup, with forward Carl Soderberg joining his new teammates for the first time after signing one day after Christmas near the end of 2020. Soderberg’s arrival was delayed by immigration issues and then his required quarantine upon arrival in Chicago.
According to a flurry of tweets from the Blackhawks beat reporters and a post-practice media session with coach Jeremy Colliton, Soderberg was rotating in on multiple lines during practice but does not appear to be ready for his game debut just yet:
Colliton says no timeline on when Soderberg will enter the lineup.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 21, 2021
"Certainly happy to get him in the group and we think he can help us when he's ready."
Speaking of practice lines, no noticeable change was noted during Thursday’s line combinations, which suggests that Friday’s lineup against Detroit will look awfully similar to Tuesday’s lineup against Florida:
Blackhawks' lines and pairs in practice today, same as Tuesday:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 21, 2021
Subban & Lankinen
Brandon Pirri was also at practice on Thursday despite being placed on waivers by the team that morning, as reported by Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic:
Blackhawks put Brandon Pirri on waivers today. That’s it for league-wide waivers.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 21, 2021
Should Pirri clear waivers (which will be known Friday morning), he could remain in Chicago as part of the taxi squad or also be sent to the IceHogs, who are slated to open training camp on Jan. 25, according to this Sudbury Star article on Blackhawks prospect Isaak Phillips. Two players who may or may not be in Rockford for the start of that AHL training camp are forwards MacKenzie Entwistle and Reese Johnson, who were both added to the Blackhawks taxi squad on Thursday:
There was also an update in the lengthy saga of defenseman Brent Seabrook. A quick recap: Seabrook had a trio of surgeries in early 2020, practiced with the team ahead of 2020’s postseason but did not appear in a game, then arrived at the 2021 training camp and has been dealing with back issues since the first day of practice.
Colliton said that Seabrook will remain on the sidelines in the short term:
Brent Seabrook has been "skating off and on here, but he's not near a return," Jeremy Colliton says.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 21, 2021