The Blackhawks officially opened training camp at 10 a.m. Friday, but defenseman Calvin de Haan was forced to jump the gun.
Still recovering from the shoulder surgery he had at the end of last season, as well as from a groin strain he presumably suffered during offseason training, de Haan and forward prospect Philipp Kurashev were skating shortly after 9 a.m. at Fifth Third Arena.
Neither participated, however, in the grueling first day of practice. (Kurashev did return Saturday.) Also missing was center Kirby Dach, who is in the concussion protocol after taking a bad hit Tuesday in the Traverse City (Michigan) prospects tournament, even though his withdrawal from the game initially was deemed precautionary.
De Haan is expected to be out another two to three weeks, as has been expected since the Hawks acquired him in a trade with the Hurricanes in late June. That would put him right up against the start of the regular season. General manager Stan Bowman said de Haan’s return to full health will be ‘‘close’’ to the season opener Oct. 4.
Bowman had less encouraging things to say about Dach.
‘‘[Dach’s recovery] could be a day or two, it could be longer,’’ Bowman said. ‘‘We don’t know on that, so that’s why we don’t put a timeline on it. It’s too bad.’’
A concussion before Dach’s professional career even has begun doesn’t bode well for his chance to make the Hawks this season.
Neither Dach nor de Haan has been made available to the media, but captain Jonathan Toews said he bumped into Dach on Thursday and advised him to take his time resting, no matter how strong the itch to join camp becomes.
‘‘A young guy like that probably feels like there’s a lot of expectations, a lot of pressure for him, and he probably wants to come in and show what he can do right at the start,’’ Toews said. ‘‘But he’s got to take his time and make sure he’s 100 percent when he comes back.’’
Missing a significant chunk of camp won’t necessarily kill Dach’s opportunity to prove he’s NHL-ready right now, but it certainly won’t help. Bowman said the Hawks would consider taking advantage of a rule that allows rookies to play up to nine regular-season NHL games and still be sent back to Canadian juniors without burning a year of their entry-level contract.
Winger Patrick Kane, for one, didn’t seem concerned.
‘‘He’s a big, strong kid; I think he can translate pretty well just with his body to the NHL game,’’ Kane said. ‘‘I can even remember [Artemi] Panarin, his first year he came in, he missed a lot of time. He played the last preseason game and was fine. So everybody’s a little bit different.’’