Hawks Insider

Blackhawks 2020-21 training camp: Day 1 notes and takeaways

/ by Charlie Roumeliotis
Presented By Chevy Drives Chicago
Hawks Insider

Here are 10 notes, thoughts and takeaways from Day 1 of Blackhawks training camp at Fifth Third Arena:

  • The Blackhawks were divided into two groups. And with Kirby Dach (wrist) and Jonathan Toews (medical issue) out, Dylan Strome centered the top line alongside Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane. It's likely the three of them will start together when the season begins.  
  • Take this with a grain of salt: Ian Mitchell was mostly paired with Calvin de Haan in the first group while Adam Boqvist took the bulk of his reps with Nikita Zadorov. Duncan Keith and Connor Murphy were in Group 2 and spent time apart, although you wonder if they could be the top pairing on Opening Night.  
  • Mitchell did not look shy at all on his first day of NHL camp. He was one of the loudest communicators on the ice and wasn't afraid to assert himself immediately. You can read an exclusive Q&A with Mitchell here.
  • Evan Barratt, Brent Seabrook and Pius Suter were ruled "unfit to participate" and did not practice. Carl Soderberg (immigration documents) will join the team at a later date, but it remains unclear when. Suter, for what it's worth, was seen working out while the first group was skating, so that's a positive sign.  
  • The Blackhawks placed forward Zack Smith on waivers and did not include him on the training camp roster. Head coach Jeremy Colliton said the decision was "more about trying to give young guys opportunity."  
  • Andrew Shaw is back after being sidelined by a concussion and is wearing a visor for the first time in his NHL career. He was on a line with Dominik Kubalik, but there was no consistent center between them. Reese Johnson and Michal Teply were two of the prospects taking spins with Kubalik and Shaw. You have to figure Soderberg will slot into that role when his situation gets finalized.  
  • After the first group session ended, Adam Boqvist, DeBrincat, Kane and Strome branched off to one end of the ice for some power-play work. Boqvist ran the point, Strome served as the net-front presence, and DeBrincat and Kane were on opposite ends of the faceoff dot. The bumper role was left open, which will presumably go to Kubalik.  
  • The Blackhawks are allowed to carry an unlimited amount of goaltenders for training camp. Collin Delia and Matt Tomkins were in the first group; Kevin Lankinen and Malcolm Subban were in the second. The fifth netminder was Cale Morris, who signed a one-year AHL contract with the Rockford IceHogs in October. He's in the fold for insurance, and to essentially make sure the Blackhawks have two goaltenders in each group if something were to happen to the other four.  
  • Final thought: Zadorov is going to win Chicago fans over quickly. He went up against Kane and Strome during 1-on-1 drills and was not afraid to get physical, which you will notice below.  
  • Here are some clips from Monday: 
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