Blackhawks’ van Riemsdyk enters United Center in sling
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While the assembled media waited to speak with Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock following Toronto’s brief morning skate Saturday at the United Center, Trevor van Riemdsyk cut his way through the press presumably to reach the Blackhawks’ dressing room.
His right arm was in a sling, and the injury will cost him about a month.
van Riemsdyk, a 25–year-old defenseman, left Friday night’s game in Columbus late in the second period holding his right arm after he rammed into a post trying to break up a Josh Anderson chance. Reportedly the subject of trade talk, the incident cut short van Riemsdyk’s second game of the season and coach Joel Quenneville said it doesn’t look like he’ll need surgery.
“It’s kind of what we had anticipated last night,” Quenneville said.
The injury also broke up a chance for a van Riemsdyk reunion with his brother James, a forward with Toronto. Because of injuries, the siblings have only faced each other once.
“It seems like we’ve each had our share of bad luck in some of these situations,” James van Riemsdyk said. “For sure, (it’s) unfortunate and I know how well he prepares himself and how things like this happen and are just kind of fluky. He’s dealt with a lot of stuff in his career so I’m sure he’ll be fine.”
Quenneville also said Andrew Desjardins (lower body) is progressing but it will still be around a couple weeks before he skates again. Marian Hossa is expected back.
Worth the journey
With five goals and two assists, Richard Panik entered Saturday’s game as the Hawks’ leading scorer. That’s a far cry from where he was before January 3, when he was in the AHL and acquired by the Hawks from Toronto for Jeremy Morin.
Panik was taken 52nd overall by Tampa Bay in 2009 before the Leafs claimed him on waivers in October 2014 and has become a more productive player with the Hawks than in his first two stops.
“We didn’t have the same value for him as the Hawks do and he’s proving them right,” Babcock said. “Sometimes it takes two or three stops for a young man to figure out what he is. He’s playing with a real good player in (Jonathan Toews) and he’s around the net. He’s a big body, can shoot the puck, so good for him.”
Panik, meanwhile, isn’t looking back or reflecting much on how much has changed since the trade.
“I don’t focus on that much. It was past,” Panik said. “Now I’m focused on the present. I’m here in Chicago and I’m happy here.”
Quenneville was an assistant under Babcock for Team Canada at the World Cup, which their team won by beating Team Europe in the finals. Quenneville said it was “great” working under Babcock and said he did a great job.
“He did a tremendous job. Outstanding coach. He got the team organized quickly,” Quenneville said. “Attention to detail. System-wide, everybody knew their responsibilities.”
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