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Blackhawks Bits: Kane, Carpenter, Gustafsson placed in COVID-19 protocol

The news gets a little bit worse.

Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks’ search for the first win of the season may be even more difficult now.

Just before Saturday’s practice, the team announced that a trio of players have been placed in COVID-19 protocol: Patrick Kane, Ryan Carpenter and Erik Gustafsson.

As a reminder from training camp, a player being placed in COVID-19 protocol is not necessarily an indication of a positive test result:

The team is fully vaccinated, which could help contain these absences to a matter of days instead of weeks.

[UPDATE] Coach Jeremy Colliton did not provide any specific details during his post-practice media session, which leaves the status of all three players up in the air:

To beef up the roster, forward Reese Johnson was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs, as first reported by former SCH site manager Brandon Cain:

With a pair of forwards sidelined, Colliton shuffled the lines at Saturday’s practice with Tyler Johnson slotting in on the Jonathan Toews line and Dominik Kubalik at the opposite wing. Brandon Hagel joined Kirby Dach and Alex DeBrincat on another line, while Reese Johnson joins MacKenzie Entwistle and Jujhar Khaira on the fourth line.

A notable omission here is youngster Philipp Kurashev, who appears to be headed for the press box for Sunday’s home game against the Detroit Red Wings.