Calvin de Haan

Calvin de Haan practices with Blackhawks for first time: 'I really want to play that first game'

Calvin de Haan practices with Blackhawks for first time: 'I really want to play that first game'

Calvin de Haan has been skating for a while now, but he got the clearance from team doctors on Tuesday to participate in his first practice with the Blackhawks. The 28-year-old defenseman has been recovering from a shoulder injury and groin strain.

"Still taking my time with the shoulder and stuff," de Haan said. "Got a timeline for that, sooner than later. Other than that, feel pretty good. It's nice to be out there with the guys. Feels good to pass the pucks and get in the corners with the guys and just get into some game-like situations."

De Haan had shoulder surgery in May and was put on a four-to-six-month timeline by his former team, the Carolina Hurricanes. He admitted that his shoulder "feels fine" and it's his groin that's "been a bit of a hinder" more than anything, an injury he said he sustained pushing too hard to get back.

"Not really, no, " de Haan said when asked whether he feels limited. "A little banged up in the lower body right now. But other than that I'm working through that. Just typical bumps and bruises trying to get back into the swing of things. I feel pretty good. It was fun to be out there with the guys."

The Blackhawks announced on Day 1 of training camp that de Haan will be out of the lineup for two to three weeks. The timeline hasn't changed, but de Haan's goal is and always has been to be ready for Opening Night in Prague on Oct. 4.

"I hope so," de Haan said. "That's my game plan, anyways. I'm going to do everything in my power to be ready and hopefully make it a tough decision on the doctors and the staff to not let me play ... but at the end of the day it's their decision. I feel good. I'm just going to keep working and do as I'm told.

"I really want to play that first game but so be it if [I can't]. There's another 81 after that so there's not really a big rush."

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Five takeaways from day 1 of Blackhawks training camp

Five takeaways from day 1 of Blackhawks training camp

The Blackhawks opened up training camp at Fifth Third Arena on Friday morning. Here are five takeaways from the first day of action:

1) Dach is docked

Training Camp opened with the news that Kirby Dach is in the concussion protocol.  Dach was injured after taking a hit in the Traverse City tournament finale on Tuesday. It’s impossible to predict a timetable for concussion recovery, but if he is out for an extended period, his chances of making the team would go down dramatically.

2) de Haan long shot to start season 

Defenseman Calvin de Haan is expected to be out two to three weeks (groin strain/shoulder surgery recovery). That timeline suggests de Haan would miss all of training camp and would likely not be available for the opener in Prague.

3) Shaw next to Kane?

The offseason changes have certainly impacted the locker room. Andrew Shaw’s locker is once again next to Patrick Kane’s stall. This will produce plenty of chirping and media congestion that rivals the Edens at rush hour. The two were also together on the same line on Friday. Kane said: “I've always really liked playing with Shawzy. He works hard, gets pucks back. Plays a pretty simple game, gets to the net, creates a lot of space out there. Good first day.”

4) Captain Motivated 

Jonathan Toews has already produced a resume that will land him in the Hall of Fame someday. He enters his 13th season in the NHL after putting up career-best offensive numbers a year ago. So, what did Toews think about being snubbed by NHL Network's list of the current Top 20 Centers in the game and does he use it as motivation? 

“Honestly, kind of, yeah,” said the Blackhawks captain. “If I saw my name at the top of the list, I wouldn’t really key on it too much. But the fact that it’s been a few years since our team has had playoff success, you kind of start losing a little bit of that focus and attention again. It’s not what’s important, but there’s no doubt in the back of your mind you want to prove yourself as one of the best players in the league and on your team. So when you see that, I think it definitely sinks in a little bit, for sure.”

5) Most competitive camp in the last decade?

Over the last decade, the Blackhawks have produced three cups, plenty of salary cap headaches and very few roster spots that are up for grabs at the start of a season. That is not the case for this training camp. Two years of failing to make the playoffs and a bevy of offseason moves has set the table for the most competitive camp in recent memory, especially at forward.

“We have a lot of depth, a lot of players. You can make an argument that 9 or 10 guys could be on the team,” GM Stan Bowman said. “Now, that's not going to be the case. There's going to be some good players that don't start the season here. But that's not to say that they won't be here two weeks later." He added that there is a “group of players we know they're going to be here all season but there's other players that are constantly trying to prove that they are the guy and I think that competition is going to help our team.”

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Injury updates on Kirby Dach, Calvin de Haan and Philipp Kurashev as Blackhawks training camp opens

Injury updates on Kirby Dach, Calvin de Haan and Philipp Kurashev as Blackhawks training camp opens

The Blackhawks released medical updates on three players as training camp opened on Friday at Fifth Third Arena.

Kirby Dach, who suffered a shoulder injury after taking a hard fall into the boards in the final game of the 2019 Traverse City Prospect Tournament on Tuesday, is in the concussion protocol and did not practice with the team. GM Stan Bowman did not put a timeline on his return.

"When you have a concussion, the timing on those we don't really know," Bowman said. "It could be short, it could be a day or two, it could be longer. We don't know on that, so that's why we don't put a timeline on it. It's too bad. Obviously I thought he played well there [in Traverse City] a couple games. But this is part of it and we don't need to make any determinations today. It's the first day of camp, so we'll just let that play out."

Calvin de Haan skated an hour before practice began, but did not participate in team drills as he recovers from shoulder surgery and a groin strain. The team expects him to be out of the lineup for two to three weeks and it's unclear whether he'll be ready for Opening Night on Oct. 4 in Prague.

"I think he'll be close," Bowman said. "At this point, I'm not sure. Once we get him back and skating with the team in a full practice we'll have a better idea. He'll be close. ... He's been skating for a while. The timeline hasn't changed from what we put out, it's just a matter of how he feels."

Philipp Kurashev, who also skated before practice, is listed as day-to-day with a left knee/shoulder contusion. He sustained the injury on Tuesday in the Traverse City finale after being boarded by a Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux, who was ejected on the play.

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