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Blackhawks' Kruger to make preseason debut Oct. 1

by Arpon Basu

MONTREAL -- Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger likely will make his preseason debut Oct. 1 against the St. Louis Blues, coach Joel Quenneville said Friday.

Kruger signed a one-year contract with the Blackhawks on Sept. 11 but was unable to join them until late this week due to a visa issue.

Quenneville said Kruger, who has played all 287 regular-season games of his NHL career with Chicago, has looked good in practice and is eager to get into a game.

"We'll probably play him in the last two [preseason games]," Quenneville said prior to a preseason game against the Canadiens at Bell Centre on Friday. "But he was flying out there today. He's happy to be back here and ready to go."

After visiting the Blues on Oct. 1, the Blackhawks will host the Dallas Stars on Oct. 3 to complete their preseason schedule.

Quenneville said the Blackhawks will make significant cuts to their roster following their game Saturday at home against the Blues.

"After [Saturday]'s game we'd like to get down to a shorter number for the last week, going into it when we'll have two exhibition games left," Quenneville said. "We'd like to get it to so you can have a one group practice, five to six [forward] lines, eight to nine defense, probably looking at three goalies. Probably lighten up after the game [Saturday] night."

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