Sharp set to go; Bolland, Smith may also play

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Sharp set to go; Bolland, Smith may also play

Patrick Sharp will play in the season opener and there's a chance Dave Bolland and Ben Smith could also play when the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Dallas Stars on Friday night.

Sharp participated in his first full practice on Tuesday -- he was part of morning skate last Friday -- and coach Joel Quenneville deemed him "ready to go" for the season opener. And as Quenneville said last week, Sharp will start the season at wing; he was with Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews on Tuesday.

Bolland (upper body) did not practice on Tuesday but Quenneville was hopeful that the center would be back for Wednesday's practice.

Smith's return, meanwhile, was very encouraging after he was knocked out last week against the Detroit Red Wings. He was not cleared for contact on Tuesday but that could come soon.

"He looked good, he's skating well and he's progressed the past few days," Quenneville said. "He could have a chance to take contact as well next day or two."

Smith said he did get a text from Brendan Smith regarding the hit and he appreciated that.

"It's just one of those things; it's a rough game and some things happen," said Ben Smith, whose latest concussion is not his first. "These things are dangerous and it's really day by day. (Recovery) could take six or seven months, it could take a couple weeks. I'll just try to do the right things and get healthy and hope that works."

Meanwhile, general manager Stan Bowman said Viktor Stalberg (left knee) will start the season on the injured reserve list. Stalberg was injured last Wednesday and should be back within the next three weeks.

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

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Blackhawks sign defenseman Michal Kempny to extension

Michal Kempny was in and out of the Blackhawks lineup last season but he’ll likely get a bigger opportunity this coming season. On Saturday, he was assured of coming back to get that chance.

Kempny and the Blackhawks agreed to a one-year extension, the team announced on Saturday morning.

“Michal’s style of play is an asset to our defense,” general manager Stan Bowman said in a statement. “He is the type of player who will continue to improve now that he has transitioned to the National Hockey League. We look forward to his continued development on the ice for the Blackhawks.”

Kempny was part of a very crowded blue line last season — he was one of eight defensemen at the start of it — and played 50 regular-season games. He recorded two goals and six assists in those contests but did not play in the Blackhawks’ four postseason contests. With Johnny Oduya and Brian Campbell likely not returning, however, Kempny should get a bigger opportunity this season.

The 26-year-old Kempny also had two goals and an assist in eight games for the Czech Republic team at the 2017 World Championship.

Blackhawks announce plans for NHL Draft Fan Fest

Blackhawks announce plans for NHL Draft Fan Fest

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.