Today marked the first day of training camp for the majority of teams across the league. With the first preseason tilt just two days away now, teams are getting fired up and ready to go see at what level players in their organization are able to perform. One team whose offseason led to much fanfare was the Chicago Blackhawks, and the health status of both of their stars were hot topics of discussion today. NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis reports that a nagging injury to star winger Patrick Kane, an undisclosed matter that had appeared before the start of the Edmonton bubble in 2020, hasn’t healed completely. However, neither Kane nor others in the organization are concerned about his ability to play through the matter, as Kane himself remarked today that he’s “optimistic with where [he’s] going.” A great sense of mysteriousness still veils whatever the nagging issue is, as the nature of the injury has yet to be reported.
More notes from today’s opening of training camps:
- After missing the entirety of 2020-21 due to Chronic Immune Response Syndrome, it was reported earlier in the offseason that Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews was expected to return to play this year. Roumeliotis reports that after summer workouts, Toews rejoined the team today for his first formal practice since 2020. It would be a huge add for Chicago to get their captain back into the fold after an offseason that saw them forge a deeper team throughout. While Toews’ practice today went well, he hopes for but won’t guarantee an opening night appearance when their season opens in Colorado on Wednesday, October 13.
- The contract negotiation saga of Brady Tkachuk has largely been an arduous, open-to-the-public process that continues to plant nervousness in Senators fans. It’s come to a head in recent days, as training camp has now begun without Ottawa’s best forward in the fold. The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch reports that in his absence, they’ve kept the other two-thirds of his line together in Josh Norris and Drake Batherson. While it’s anybody’s guess on who could fill that role during play if Tkachuk misses the start of the season, head coach D.J. Smith used forward Nick Paul in that first-line left-wing role today. Potentially a sign of things to come, it’s still anything but a guarantee.