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Blackhawks Roster News: One on Waivers, Two Unfit to Play, and Injuries Aplenty

Some notable names were missing from the roster as the Blackhawks hit the ice for training camp.

Blackhawks Training Camp
Photo: CRoumeliotis/Twitter

The Blackhawks hit the ice in Chicago this morning and finally released their training camp roster. Several notable omissions make for a roster that now appears as thin as Hawks fans have seen in about 15 years.

Kirby Dach (wrist), Alex Nylander (knee), and Jonathan Toews (medical condition) were all missing due to their previously announced injuries. However, Brent Seabrook and Evan Barratt were both left off the roster with the designation of being “unfit to participate.” In the past, the NHL has used that designation for players who were out due to COVID-19 protocols, however, that is not an official designation for it.

The last omission was forward Zack Smith. Per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Blackhawks have placed Smith on waivers. Smith, who last played for the Blackhawks in February, underwent back surgery last March. According to Smith’s agent, the forward is healthy and planned to be in camp with the Blackhawks before this announcement. Should Smith clear waivers, the Blackhawks could move him to the AHL.

For the first time in over a decade, Chicago opened camp without Corey Crawford on the roster. The team broke camp with five goalies on their training camp roster. Due to the NHL’s new rule for the 2021 season, each team will have to carry three goalies on the active regular-season roster. The five goalies in camp are Collin Delia, Kevin Lankinen, Cale Morris, Malcolm Subban, and Matthew Tomkins. Today marks the first step in choosing Crawford’s replacement.

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Patrick is an avid Chicago sports fan. He is a Blackhawks season ticket holder. Blogging all things Bears, Blackhawks and White Sox, Chicago is well covered. Oh, and catch him talking and drinking on Four Feathers Podcast and Bears On Tap.

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1 year ago

I have to admit I am surprised that Seabrook is still unfit to participate. I thought he would be ready to go by now. If he is back to better physical form than the last 2 seasons, the Hawks could use him as a partner to one of the young guys to aid in their development. I am glad they are moving on from Smith, as he was a poor signing from the outset, even before the back injury.

I am also curious to see whether they try to weaponize their assets (cap space with Toews potentially on LTIR, as well as players like de Haan) to take advantage of teams that are still struggling to get below the cap, or teams with disgruntled players like Winnipeg with Laine and Roslovic, or Columbus with DuBois.

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