The Blackhawks' forward group will be getting a mini boost soon.
For the first time since signing a one-year, $1 million contract in the offseason, Carl Soderberg joined the team for practice on Thursday at Fifth Third Arena after missing the first four games because of visa issues. He's been in Chicago for almost two weeks now but had to go through a mandatory quarantine before skating.
"It’s been a long couple of weeks," Soderberg said. "It was nice to be with the guys. Obviously, I want to get out there as soon as possible and today was a good step."
Soderberg, 35, said the hold-up during the visa process was because there were "not a whole lot of business days over Christmas and New Year." He didn't stress too much about it because it was "out of my control," but admitted it was tough watching from the sidelines.
"You want to get in, want to be part of the team, skate with the guys, play the games," Soderberg said.
It's unclear when and where Soderberg may slot into the lineup, but he was rotating in and out of the second line with Dominik Kubalik, Philipp Kurashev and Dylan Strome during Thursday's practice. He can play both center and wing, which gives the Blackhawks different options.
"Good to get him on the ice today," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We know he’s been skating for a few days. We'll take it one day at a time, I guess. Certainly happy to get him in the group and we think he can help us when he’s ready."
The Blackhawks are scheduled to host the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on Friday night and Sunday morning. It's likely Soderberg will draw in at some point over the weekend.