Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton and a number of other staff members have been vaccinated for COVID-19, Colliton said Tuesday.
No players have been vaccinated yet, but the organization will encourage them to do so when they’re eligible and the timing is right with the team’s game and practice schedule.
“I think it would be good,” Colliton said. “But we’ve to do it at the right time, too, with regard to the schedule and making sure that it comes at a time that, hopefully, it’s not going to affect their ability to play. The more people that can get vaccinated, the quicker we can hopefully get back to living the life we want to live.”
Colliton received the Johnson & Johnson shot at a recent event set up by Hawks physician Dr. Michael Terry.
Forward Ryan Carpenter said he’d like to get vaccinated when possible but has mainly focused on the day-to-day grind of the season rather than seeking out appointments.
“[The Hawks] asked for our opinions,” Carpenter added. “Guys are all over the place personally with the vaccine. I think it would definitely help — that’s my opinion. It would help the team and the league [reduce cases] as we’re going down the stretch.”
Nylander likely out for season
Alex Nylander remains on schedule in his recovery from knee surgery, general manager Stan Bowman said Tuesday.
Nylander underwent surgery in December to repair a meniscus tear in his left knee and was ruled out four to six months, putting his approximate return sometime between late April and late June.
Bowman confirmed Nylander is unlikely to play the remainder of the regular season, which ends May 10.
The 23-year-old wing should be fully healthy for next season, but he’ll need a new contract first, as he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer.
No Vinnie treatment for Delia
The Hawks were able to acquire Vinnie Hinostroza for essentially no cost last week because the Panthers wanted to give him a chance to earn NHL playing time, which wasn’t happening for him.
“The way the season was going for me in Florida, I figured it was a really big possibility that I was going to be moved,” Hinostroza said Monday.
The Hawks have their own player in a comparable situation in goalie Collin Delia, who has been stuck in no man’s land for months.
Since Jan. 18, Delia has played in zero NHL games and four AHL games, all during a brief conditioning stint. The Hawks don’t want to risk losing him for nothing on waivers, but Delia hasn’t cracked the Kevin Lankinen-Malcolm Subban rotation, either.
In another season, Delia would be an obvious change-of-scenery candidate. But with teams required to keep three goalies in the NHL this season, the Hawks need Delia right now, even just to sit around.
So there’s been no consideration given to trading him before the Monday trade deadline, Bowman said.
Carl Soderberg was scratched for the second consecutive game.
A pending unrestricted free agent, Soderberg could conceivably be dealt at the deadline. But unlike the Sabres’ Taylor Hall and Devils’ Kyle Palmieri, who were both scratched in other games Tuesday to avoid injuries ahead of expected trades, Soderberg’s absence seems performance-based.
“When you get a chance to rotate the lineup a bit, maybe add freshness to the group, [it’s good],” Colliton said. “Soderberg’s played well for us. It’s up to him to prepare for his next chance and make a difference when he comes in.”