Hawks announce team is fully vaccinated ahead of season

Stan Bowman

The Chicago Blackhawks opened up the first day of training camp Thursday with some great news about the team's health.

The Hawks will enter the 2021-22 season with all of their players fully vaccinated, president of hockey operations and general manager Stan Bowman announced before camp at Fifth Third Arena.

"Certainly it shows the commitment of the players but also just from a more practical standpoint," Bowman said. "It's pretty challenging if you have players that aren't vaccinated as far as day to day activities."

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The NHL is hoping to have a 98% vaccination rate among all players in the league by the time the season begins on Oct. 12.

Players who haven't been vaccinated or have to undergo COVID-19 protocol can be suspended and have their pay docked.

"From the logical side of it, it's much easier," Bowman said. "But also it's just a sign of the players' commitment to try to be safe, and that's the way we've always felt. But it's an individual decision. It was their choice and we're happy it worked out that way."

The Blackhawks will start the regular season on Oct. 13 against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena in Denver.

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