Calvin de Haan took the next step in his recovery process by joining the group of Blackhawks at Fifth Third Arena for Phase 2 of voluntary skates and off-ice workouts, the team announced Thursday.
De Haan underwent right shoulder surgery in December and was put on a four-to-six-month timetable, which would have ended his 2019-20 season under normal circumstances. But because the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to put its season on pause, the lengthy hiatus has afforded players like de Haan to rehab their injuries and be ready to go for the 24-team Return to Play plan, pending an overall agreement between the NHL and NHL Players' Association.
"I would expect him to be ready," GM Stan Bowman said of de Haan's status in June.
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Even though Phase 2 didn't open until the second week of June, de Haan has been ahead of the curve compared to other skaters as far as on-ice conditioning goes. He was spotted skating in Ottawa in late May with a small group of players, so getting back up to speed shouldn't be too much of a challenge.
If de Haan is, in fact, cleared to play for the qualifying round, it would be a major boost for the Blackhawks, who could use his presence on the top-four against a speedy Edmonton Oilers team.
"It would be great,” head coach Jeremy Colliton said. “Obviously we've got get him on the ice and go through camp and hopefully everything continues to progress as far as his health. But I thought the games he did play, he’s steady back there and plays a hard game. He’s not overly physical, but he makes contact and he can get a stop in D-zone. Very direct, makes simple plays with the puck, underhandles it and he can make plays on the offensive blue line as well.
“And just his experience, he’s a bit of a bridge between the young group that we have and the group that’s been here. I think that’s good. He’s been in other organizations and helps the new guys to fit in because he’s a new guy, too. We’d love to get him back.”
Phase 3 of formal training camps was originally scheduled to begin on July 10, but that date is likely to be pushed back to July 13.