For the first time since last May, the Chicago Blackhawks will return to the ice on Wednesday night for their preseason opener against the Detroit Red Wings, and a familiar face will be joining them.
According to the team’s roster report for the contest, captain Jonathan Toews will suit up and play in the contest, marking his first game action since the Blackhawks were eliminated from the 2020 playoffs by the Vegas Golden Knights.
Toews missed last season with an immune system disorder, but he has been practicing with the team, and will be looking to get into the game shape as the Blackhawks open their six-game preseason schedule at the United Center.
According to reporters, Toews spent the morning skate working out with Dominik Kubalik and Philipp Kurashev, likely meaning that we will see that line in Wednesday’s game.
Kirby Dach, who missed large chunks of last season due to injury, will also play in the game, skating on the second line with Brett Connolly and Brandon Hagel.
Lukas Reichel, the team’s first round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, will also play in the game, as will Alex Nylander, who missed all of last season due to a knee injury.
Jujhar Khaira, who signed in free agency, will also play for the Blackhawks.
Defensively, the Blackhawks will have just one guaranteed starting blue liner in the lineup, as Connor Murphy will play in the game. Riley Stillman, who has a good chance of making the roster, will also play.
Seth Jones, the team’s big acquisition in the offseason, won’t play in Wednesday’s game, but his brother Caleb will, as will Wyatt Kalynuk and Nicolas Beaudin.
The Blackhawks’ goaltenders for the game will be Kevin Lankinen, who will likely back up Marc-Andre Fleury this season, and Arvid Soderblom.
For the Red Wings, veteran winger Bobby Ryan will play in Wednesday’s game, as will former Blackhawks defenseman Jordan Oesterle.
Thomas Greiss, Calvin Pickard and Kaden Fulcher will all suit up for Detroit, and will likely play a period each in goal.
Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m., and the game will air on NBC Sports Chicago Plus.