The Chicago Blackhawks on-ice situation took another step towards normalcy on Tuesday with the news that forward Jujhar Khaira and defenseman Riley Stillman have both been removed from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, along with a pair of assistant coaches:
Khaira, Stillman and assistant coaches Marc Crawford and Jimmy Waite are now officially out of COVID protocol.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) November 2, 2021
Each player has been out of the lineup since the Oct. 21 game against the Vancouver Canucks, which Chicago lost 4-1. Stillman has no points in five games while averaging 15:13 of ice time this season, while Khaira has the same statline with an average ice time at 12:45.
With that group now out of the protocol, only forward Henrik Borgstrom remains.
Tuesday’s morning practice was an optional and sparsely attended one, although there was one noticeably active participant: defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk, who’s been sidelined by a sprained right ankle since the preseason. Despite the progress, though, Kalynuk isn’t quite ready for game action yet, according to coach Jeremy Colliton:
Kalynuk is "closer" but won't play tomorrow vs. Carolina, Colliton said.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) November 2, 2021
Caleb Jones and Tyler Johnson also won't play tomorrow.
Jones has also been sidelined since the preseason with a wrist injury and Johnson remains sidelined after being injured over the weekend.
In a statement posted at the team’s website, the team explained its decision:
The Chicago Blackhawks and Marian Hossa will be postponing Marian’s Legacy Night to a to-be-announced later date (originally scheduled for Tuesday, November 9). After further discussion between Danny Wirtz, Jaime Faulkner and Marian, everyone agreed that this is an important time for our organization to reflect rather than celebrate. Marian and the club’s leadership team all know we must build back our community’s trust as we ensure accountability within our organization following Kyle Beach’s courage in coming forward. Our new leadership team is committed to upholding our values and always working to better this organization and our game as we move forward.
There is no better embodiment of those values, both off and on the ice, than Marian Hossa, and we congratulate him on his upcoming Hockey Hall of Fame induction.
[UPDATE] The Blackhawks made one more roster move on Tuesday, announcing the signing of 2020 seventh-round pick (188th overall) Louis Crevier, a 6-foot-7, 196-pound defenseman.
NEWS: #Blackhawks sign defenseman prospect Louis Crevier to three-year entry-level contract with a $850,833 salary cap hit.— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) November 2, 2021
Selected in the seventh round in the #2020NHLDraft, he has six points (three goals, three assists) in eight games for Quebec this season. #HawksProspects