Niklas Hjalmarsson will be back in the lineup and Jonathan Toews is out as the Chicago Blackhawks face the Dallas Stars at the United Center.
The Blackhawks' defenseman will play his first game since getting injured against the Colorado Avalanche on Feb. 7. Hjalmarsson first had the flu, but "things changed," coach Joel Quenneville said, when Hjalmarsson flew back from San Jose to Chicago two days later.
"It's good to have him back," Quenneville said. "He defends properly and his positioning is strong for us. It's good to have that reliability back."
Meanwhile, Toews (upper body) did not skate again today. When asked if Toews was even working out right now, Quenneville said, "hes progressing. I guess well say thats where were at." Quenneville wasn't sure yet if Toews will travel to Los AngelesAnaheim for the Blackhawks' weekend games there.
There's also no progress on defenseman Steve Montador. As far as his long-term status, Quenneville said, "it would be nice to give you a time line on it but we dont have the precise forecast of exactly where it is. Hes starting to feel better. We're hoping it's not too long."
With exactly a month to go until Chicago hosts the 2017 NHL Draft for the first time ever, the Blackhawks and league announced Wednesday their plans for Fan Fest held outside the United Center on June 23 and 24.
A handful of Blackhawks players and alumni will be in attendance and made available for photo opportunities, as will the Stanley Cup. Fans will also be able to explore the NHL Centennial Fan Arena, "a 53-foot museum truck with an innovative interior featuring more than 1,000 square feet of interactive digital displays, original video content, one-of-a-kind historical memorabilia, unique photo moments and a social media wall," according to the press release.
A full list of activities, special guest appearances and schedule will be posted at a later date.
Friday's events will run from 3 to 9 p.m. while Saturday's festivites will go from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Parking Lot C, north of the United Center.
Additional passes for the weekend will be made available to the public starting June 9. For more information, visit chicagoblackhawks.com/fanfest.
On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, forward Vinnie Hinostroza joins Pat Boyle and evaluates his rookie season, tells us how he has added MMA and Ju-jitsu to his offseason training and is he going to room with Ryan Hartman next season?
Plus, Tracey Myers joins Pat to discuss Patrick Kane’s first interview this offseason, the latest on the Blackhawks coaching moves and tournament fall-out for Artemi Panarin, Marcus Kruger and Alex DeBrincat.
Listen to the latest episode of the Hawks Talk Podcast below.