Artemi Panarin hasn’t practiced with the Blackhawks since the early days of training camp. And while he could rejoin teammates in the next day or two, he’s probably out for the team’s final two preseason games.
Coach Joel Quenneville said Panarin, who’s been sidelined with an upper-body injury, skated prior to the Blackhawks’ practice on Wednesday morning. While it looks like the young forward is getting healthy, Panarin will not play on Thursday night vs. the St. Louis Blues and is also likely out versus the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
Panarin’s absence has made it tougher for him to get used to the Blackhawks’ system. But Quenneville still knows a good deal of what they get from the forward.
“I know we got to see him play off the bat,” Quenneville said following practice. “We’ve seen a little of his history last year as well. we know what he’s capable of. he definitely shows some upside with the puck, he has some skill. The finer things of the game that we’d like to measure players, we haven’t found out those areas. but it’s a good question. you don’t mind guys like that, the opportunity’s probably going to be there. We’ll have to work with him in practice."
Meanwhile, Bryan Bickell has practiced the last two days after missing Monday for a personal matter. As far as the vertigo he suffered from last spring – he said at Notre Dame that it still flares up now and then – Bickell said he’s getting better.
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“Different things were offset, now they’re getting back set. I’m actually improving,” he said. “I’ve seen a bunch of different doctors to help out in ways. I think we’ve pinpointed what it is. Every day you just work on it and get stronger and improve the things inside – that I don’t understand – to get better. It’s working.”
Michal Rozsival (ankle) continues to skate but it’ll still be a while before he plays in games. “We’ll have a better indication when he joins us in our practices but he’s not close there, either,” Quenneville said.
Scott Darling is scheduled to play the entire game vs. St. Louis on Thursday night.