Bolland, Smith questionable for Blackhawks' opener

Bolland, Smith questionable for Blackhawks' opener
October 5, 2011, 6:05 pm
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Dave Bolland (upper body) and Ben Smith (concussion) are questionable for the weekend as the Chicago Blackhawks prepare for their season opener Friday night against the Dallas Stars.

Coach Joel Quenneville said Bolland tried to skate after practice on Wednesday but he wasn't quite ready. Bolland was hurt last Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings. And while Michael Frolik centered that checking line with Bryan Bickell and Rostislav Olesz the past two days, Quenneville said Bolland's return still seems imminent.

"Bolley gives you that reliable center who can play against top guys in a shut-down role, but I still think (that line with Bolland) isn't that far away from getting back together again," Quenneville said. "Hopefully we'll see it this weekend."

If Bolland isn't ready, the Blackhawks could call up another center. Marcus Kruger and Brandon Pirri are two possible options.

Smith is questionable because he hasn't been cleared for contact.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks had a scare on Tuesday when Jamal Mayers went off the ice clutching his right wristhand in pain. But Mayers, who was clipped by Patrick Sharp, came back a few minutes later and finished practice.

"I'm fine," he said. "I just got hit awkwardly and I just wanted to make sure I was OK. I'm good."

Sharp said he and Mayers joked about it once they knew Mayers was OK.

"I guess all that weight training's paid off," Sharp said. "Hopefully he won't try to get me back one of these days."

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.