Chicago, which hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs at United Center, will be without the veteran center for the first time this season. The 34-year old Richards had worked his way into the role of centering the second line, with talented forwards Kris Versteeg and Patrick Kane on the wings.
It's unclear how Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will configure his line combinations without Richards, who has 18 points (six goals) in 33 games. Andrew Shaw, who centers the third line, has experience centering Kane's line and could draw the initial look. Forward Ben Smith, who usually plays on the fourth line, has also logged time there last season, as has fourth-line center Marcus Kruger.