Blackhawks Bits: Hagel talks trade rumors; Lankinen nears return
A few news and notes from another off day for the Blackhawks.
It was a relatively quiet day for the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday morning during a four-day stretch with no games.
A practice was the only event on the calendar, with a trio of veterans not on the ice for it:
MEDICAL UPDATE: Defensemen Calvin de Haan (maintenance day) and Jake McCabe (lower-back soreness) and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (maintenance day) will not practice today. #Blackhawks— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 22, 2022
Speaking of veterans, Jonathan Toews was one of three players on the ice before Tuesday’s practice. Although he did not participate in the actual practice, it appears the captain continues to inch closer to a return from concussion protocol:
Jonathan Toews (regular jersey), Riley Stillman (non-contact jersey) and Reese Johnson (non-contact jersey) are skating before Blackhawks practice.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 22, 2022
Tyler Johnson, who has not been in the lineup since Oct. 29, was a full participant in practice and could also be on the verge of a return to game action.
Blackhawks working their way back from injury was a common theme on Tuesday, with Kevin Lankinen facing shots again as he eyes a return to the United Center this weekend:
Jake McCabe is day-to-day with his back injury and will likely practice tomorrow.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 22, 2022
Lankinen is doing well and will likely start one of the Hawks’ two games this coming weekend, King said.
After practice, Brandon Hagel was one of the players to handle questions from the media and was flattered by the reported asking price for his services, given the context of his draft position:
Hagel on reported 1st rounder+prospect asking price:— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 22, 2022
“Seeing what they want for me, you have to take that as a compliment, right? I’m a 6th-rounder who was brought in as a 20-year-old, just a kid who came and played, and they want that? I’ll take that any day.”
If Derek King had it his way, Hagel wouldn’t be going anywhere:
Derek King on Brandon Hagel trade rumors: "He better not be. Hags has got to stay here. I mean, that's me. You’ve got to do what's right for the organization and what's right for the team, but Hagel is a big part of this organization.” #Blackhawks— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) February 22, 2022
Two more days off await the Blackhawks before they return to the ice on Friday night at home against the New Jersey Devils.