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Stanley Cup Final

Bickell, Handzus OK for Blackhawks camp

Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 8:23 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / Training Camp 2013 blog

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Injuries stemming from the Chicago Blackhawks' victory in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final appear mostly healed, and the team appears to be healthy for the official start of camp Thursday at the University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena.

Blackhawks vice president and general manager Stan Bowman said Wednesday he expects forwards Bryan Bickell and Michal Handzus, who each needed surgical procedures this summer, to participate.

"We had our medicals today and to my knowledge everything is fine," Bowman said. "I talked to the doctor this morning and the players are on their way up here now, but I spoke to both of them and they all look ready to go. I think health-wise we're in a very good situation leading into camp. There's always some little things that pop up here and there, but no surprises."

Coach Joel Quenneville said there would be some players who will be reassessed tomorrow, possibly Marian Hossa (back).

"There's a couple players that we're going to be seeing after [Thursday's] skate whether they'll be able to take full contact in the scrimmages," Quenneville said. "Everybody will be at least practicing to start with and I don't think there will be a hold in too many areas, and if they are it's going to be short-term just to work their way through it and test it a little bit more."

Quenneville also talked about the experiment of trying Brandon Saad at center, to see if he might provide a solution to fill a hole the Blackhawks have had on their second line the past few seasons.

"We're going to try him there this week," Quenneville said. "It'll be nice to see him. He's starting [Friday] in the middle. I think the one thing about [him] is he's good with the puck, he's a big man, a big body and he can see and make plays well, he protects the puck well … defensively is an area where we have a little bit more responsibility what our own centerman does down low in our own end, and that's where the growth will have to come and the learning experience for him in that area.

"But I think both sides of the puck he's got a pretty good head and mind for the game and that's what we're going to find out … how he adapts to it."

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory