Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville talks roster cuts, injuries, prospects

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Besides Jonathan Toews’ surprising injury, here are some noteworthy items from Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville following today’s second day of training camp at Notre Dame:

— The Hawks likely will “lighten the load” by making the first round of roster cuts in time for Tuesday’s preseason opener against the Detroit Red Wings.

— Quenneville hopes that most of his “top guys” will play in three preseason games. With five games in seven days, and four in five, Quenneville will have plenty of chances to get a look at the guys most obviously battling for roster spots (Brandon Pirri, Ben Smith, Jeremy Morin, Jimmy Hayes, Drew LeBlanc) as well as the more intriguing prospects (Teuvo Teravainen, Mark McNeill, Phillip Danault).

— Quenneville is unsure how many players — 21, 22 or 23 — will be on the roster come opening day. “We haven’t had that discussion yet,” he said. “I think a lot of that is going to be determined by the salary cap numbers.”

— Michal Rozsival (lower body) and Michal Handzus (wrist, knee) skated on their own during the two scrimmages Friday, as the two veterans are not yet cleared for contact. “They’ll be ready to start the season, for sure,” Quenneville said.

— Quenneville expects/hopes that the replacement for Michael Frolik on the penalty kill will come from one of the former Rockford guys battling for spots, though he pointed out that Brandon Saad killed penalties late last season.

— Quenneville liked what he saw out of Teravainen, the highly touted Finnish forward who has drawn comparisons to Patrick Kane. “Playing with him, you’ve got to be sharp and ready, because the puck’s going to be on your stick quicker than you think.” Teravainen said the plan is still for him to go back to Jokerit in Finland for another year of seasoning, but Quenneville said, “Right now, there’s no plan from where I’m at. We’ll see.”

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