CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t hold an official morning skate on Tuesday at United Center, but they did get some good news.
Injured star right wing Marian Hossa returned to the ice for conditioning work for the first time since leaving a game against the Colorado Avalanche on March 18 late in the first period after a hit from defenseman Ryan O’Byrne.
Hossa, who’s missed two games with the ailment, appeared to be holding his shoulder on the bench in that game, and the Blackhawks have called it an upper-body injury. Tuesday morning he joined teammates Patrick Sharp, Daniel Carcillo, Sheldon Brookbank and goalies Ray Emery and Corey Crawford on Tuesday for a series of drills.
“He skated today, so he’s progressing” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Hossa, prior to Chicago facing the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night (8:30 p.m. ET). “He’s kind of comparable with [Sharp], so we’ll see how they do. But he’s not playing [against Calgary].”
Sharp also is dealing with a shoulder injury and has missed seven games. It’s starting to look like he and Hossa’s timetable for returning are pretty close now. Quenneville didn’t rule out one or both returning on Friday in a big home game against the Anaheim Ducks, but also said that might be wishful thinking.
“We’ll see on that one,” Quenneville said. "It’s tough to say right now. Not ruling it out, but we’ll see. I think we’re stretching it.”
As for the Flames, captain Jarome Iginla participated in an optional skate despite online reports out of Calgary on Tuesday morning that he’d been spotted in Boston. Iginla declined to speak
with a contingent of reporters about ongoing trade speculation.
“I think the longer you’ve been around, it happens every year -- different names, different places … that sort of thing,” said Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, whose name has also circulated in trade rumors recently. “It’s always the case depending on what situation
your team’s in. Until something happens, it’s all talk.”
Here’s a look at how the Blackhawks and Flames might line up:
Injured: Paul Byron (IR, wrist fracture)
Injured: Patrick Sharp (IR, upper body)