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Blackhawks center Kruger delayed by visa issues

by Brian Hedger

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Center Marcus Kruger was missing from the first day of on-ice work at Chicago Blackhawks training camp Friday at the University of Notre Dame's Compton Family Ice Arena.

Kruger, 25, is still in Sweden while he waits for his U.S. work visa to be processed. J.P. Barry, who represents Kruger through the CAA Sports agency, said the process is going smoothly and Kruger will be in Chicago next week.

"He's got a visa issue," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We expect him to be here next week."

Kruger, a restricted free agent, wasn't able to start the visa application process until he signed a contract. He agreed to terms on a one-year contract Sept. 11.

"You need an actual contract to get a visa," Barry said.

According to the U.S. State Department website, obtaining a work visa in Kruger's hometown of Stockholm, Sweden, could take 10 days or longer.

Kruger, a fourth-line center and top penalty-killing forward, had seven goals and 10 assists in 81 regular-season games in 2014-15. He had two goals and two assists in 23 games during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which the Blackhawks capped by winning the Stanley Cup for a third time in six seasons.

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