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BLOG: de Haan Completes First Full Practice with Blackhawks

Defenseman progresses in recovery from shoulder and groin injuries that held him out of opening days

by Carter Baum @CarterBaum /

As a portion of the 55-man Training Camp roster got set to head to Detroit on Tuesday, perhaps the biggest news of the day came from the practice group who wasn't traveling. 

Defenseman Calvin de Haan made his first appearance in a full practice since being acquired by the Blackhawks in June. He's missed the opening days of on-ice sessions as he recovers from shoulder surgery late in the 2018-19 season and a minor groin tweak picked up during offseason training. Right now, he says, it's the groin that's holding him back more so than the shoulder. 

"I feel pretty good. It's nice to be out there with the guys," he said. "It feels good to pass the pucks and get in the corner with the guys and just get in some game-like situations."

Through the opening weeks of camp, much of the systems focus for Jeremy Colliton and the coaching staff has centered around improving Chicago's second-worst 291 goals allowed last season - part of the very reason SVP/GM Stan Bowman acquired the veteran from Carolina this offseason. 

Video: Calvin de Haan joins the Blackhawks for practice

Despite not being able to go through the on-ice instruction he teammates have, de Haan has done everything he can off the ice to pick up the philosophy. It helps, he said, that it's a similar one the Islanders used during his time in New York. 

I've been doing the video meetings and all that kind of stuff and watching a little bit of practice," he said. "In our new system, I feel like you just gotta talk a little bit more and try to communicate out on the ice."

The defenseman still has a little ways to go in his recovery before he's fully cleared by team doctors, noting that guys know not to run him through the boards quite yet. But he's hopeful to be part of the season-opening trip to Europe in just over a week's time. 

"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."

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