Blackhawks

Hossa upset, 'still not feeling like myself'

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Hossa upset, 'still not feeling like myself'

Marian Hossa is recovering from the concussion-inducing hit Phoenix forward Raffi Torres put on him last month, but the Blackhawks forward said he's "still not feeling like myself."

Hossa is back in his native Slovakia for the summer, as he recovers from the hit that cost him the rest of the playoffs and led to Torres' 25-game suspension that he is now appealing. Hossa said he's getting better step by step, but that the process has been a slow one.

"Let's put it this way: it's not fun," said Hossa via conference call on Thursday. "Especially the first few days (I was) sitting in a dark room and one week sleeping at home. That wasn't fun. The good thing is I can move around now and things are bothering me less than before. So that's a good sign. It's small steps."

Hossa doesn't remember the hit itself. He remembers trying to make a play just before it, he remembers a little bit about being in the ambulance and then his time at the hospital.

"I saw the replay a few days later and that's basically how I remembered," said Hossa.

Hossa said he did hear from Torres a few days after the hit; the phone call was brief, and Hossa did tell the Coyotes forward what he thought.

"I told him I was upset about the jump. If he wouldn't jump, maybe I'm hit but he wouldn't hit my head and he wouldn't (be suspended) 25 games," Hossa said. "The phone call was pretty quick and that was it."

Hossa's doing daily activities now and has some time here before he would normally start training for hockey season. He hopes to be ready in time for 2012-13, but he said right now it's tough to set a timetable on when he can begin training.

"It all depends. I'll take a month and not do anything and then I'll slowly do little things, maybe some biking. I'll talk to the trainers and take it step by step. It's a long time until training camp and I have a long time to recover, so I have a lot of time in front of me," said Hossa, who is still upset with the hit.

"It made me angry," he said. "I don't want to see this stuff in hockey."

Oilers, Blackhawks' play-in round opponent, release training camp roster

Oilers, Blackhawks' play-in round opponent, release training camp roster

Sunday afternoon, the Edmonton Oilers released their Phase 3 training camp roster. Training camps begin on Monday for teams competing in the NHL's 24-team playoffs under the league's Return To Play program. 

The Blackhawks, who were at No. 12 in the Western Conference at the time of the NHL pause on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will face the No. 5 Oilers starting Aug. 1 at Edmonton in a best-of-five qualifying round. 

Related: Oiler's Mike Green opts out of NHL's Return To Play program

Edmonton invited 33 players to attend their Return To Play camp.

Forwards Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl headline the team's roster. Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith are among the five goalies listed.

Western Conference teams will head to Edmonton's ICE District hub to prepare for the postseason tournament on July 26.

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Trey Lance to the Bears? This 2021 mock draft thinks so

Trey Lance to the Bears? This 2021 mock draft thinks so

Barring some kind of career-year from Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles, the 2021 NFL Draft will likely center around quarterback for the Chicago Bears. And while that's not necessarily good news for Bears fans, it could be worse. Next year's draft class will have a handful of quality quarterbacks with first-round grades.

In the latest mock draft from The Draft Wire, the Bears spend their first-round pick on North Dakota State darling, Trey Lance. The FCS standout is the apple of Draft Twitter's eye during the first wave of summer scouting, with some respected draft analysts like The Athletic's Dane Brugler ranking him ahead of Ohio State star, Justin Fields.

The Bears use the 12th overall pick in this mock on Lance. By the time April rolls around, and assuming Lance stacks another productive season on top of his remarkable 2019 performance, it's unlikely he'll be around outside the top 10.

Lance threw for 2,786 yards, 28 touchdowns and a remarkable ZERO interceptions in his first full season starting for the Bison. But that's not all; he ran for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns, too.

At an estimated 6-3 and 224 pounds, Lance checks all the early boxes for a franchise quarterback prospect. If he does end up leapfrogging Fields for QB2, he'll be a top-five pick.

But here's the catch: we just don't know enough about him yet. His 2019 season was fantastic, but it's the only one he has on film. And it was against FCS competition, which makes his projection to the NFL more difficult. It's a slippery slope to use Carson Wentz as an example to support Lance's ability to make the jump to the pros. Players like Wentz are the exception; they're few and far between.

It's only July, and the mock draft landscape will change multiple times between now and April. But if Trubisky and Foles fail to deliver in 2020, all mock drafts will have the Bears picking a quarterback. The only question is how high will the Bears be picking in Round 1, and which quarterback (if any) falls to their selection.