Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane was slowed by a nagging injury last season although he was still able to be quite productive in the shortened 2020-21 campaign. However, as Kane told reporters, including Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times, the injury hasn’t healed yet although the 32-year-old is optimistic his recovery is going in the right direction. GM Stan Bowman clarified that the undisclosed injury won’t require surgery. Nevertheless, as Kane projects to once again be a top scorer for Chicago in a season where expectations are much higher following the acquisitions of defenseman Seth Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury, the fact that the injury is still lingering has to be a little concerning for Kane and the team.
Elsewhere around the Central:
- Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz has fully recovered from the lower-body injury that basically cost him all of last season, relays Mike Chambers of the Denver Post. The 31-year-old clarified that he had surgeries on both hips, the same procedures that former Colorado netminder Semyon Varlamov had during his time with Colorado. Francouz is slated to back up newcomer Darcy Kuemper this season with both goalies set to become unrestricted free agents next summer.
- After a busy summer from the Coyotes, Arizona Sports’ Tom Kuebel notes that GM Bill Armstrong suggested that Arizona is unlikely to be too active on the trade front during the season. Among those that are now gone from the desert are defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Alex Goligoski, forwards Christian Dvorak and Conor Garland, plus both ends of their goalie tandem from last season. Armstrong hasn’t ruled out using the significant amount of draft capital he has amassed as trade assets down the road but with this season firmly being a rebuilding one, it’s unlikely those moves will come in 2021-22.