While the Blackhawks have been without top center Jonathan Toews all season long due to an illness, it appears as if he should be able to play next season. In a recent video appearance on NBC Sports (video link), TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that while the veteran isn’t expected to return this season, his health continues to improve and as things stand, is expected to be available for the 2021-22 campaign. Toews has two years left on his deal with a $10.5MM AAV and assuming he is back to full health by then, he would almost certainly return to his spot on Chicago’s top line; his vacancy is one that they’ve struggled to fill internally this season.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- Back at the trade deadline, Stars GM Jim Nill was hoping that center Tyler Seguin would be able to return this coming Monday. However, head coach Rick Bowness told reporters, including Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News, that the target date is just “wishful thinking” at this point. However, it doesn’t sound as if the veteran will be out much longer with Bowness indicating he’s hopeful that Seguin will be able to play sometime later in the week. He has missed the entire season after offseason hip surgery and would undoubtedly be a significant addition to a Dallas team that is four points out of the final playoff spot in the division though they have three games in hand on Nashville.
- Panthers center Noel Acciari will miss his fifth straight game tonight due to an upper-body injury, the team announced (Twitter link). The team is targeting one of their games against Nashville on Monday or Tuesday for him to return. Acciari, who was on the top line recently when Aleksander Barkov missed time, has 11 points in 36 games this season.
- Hurricanes winger Jordan Martinook won’t play today after being injured on Thursday, notes Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour expressed some optimism that the 28-year-old won’t be out of the lineup for long. Meanwhile, while Teuvo Teravainen (concussion) took part in some team drills yesterday, he’s also not expected to suit up. He has played just once in the last two months because of his symptoms.