It wouldn’t be hockey without an injury report and one of the Chicago Blackhawks offseason acquisitions in the offseason is already on it. No, it’s not Connor Bedard, but Taylor Hall who was acquired via trade with the Boston Bruins.
It shouldn’t be of too much concern. Labeled a lower-body injury by head coach Luke Richardson, Hall’s injury is one they’re monitoring but not overly worrying about.
“It’s only day one,” Richardson said. “So hopefully tomorrow or the next few days we’ll know more.”
Hall is considered one of the pieces and the likeliest candidate to flank Connor Bedard on the top line, giving the rookie an offensive threat beside him as a previous first overall pick himself.
But an injury that ends up being longer in duration–if indeed it is a bit worse than what it appears. Richardson talked about “deferring” until another day in terms of information but it was Hall who was expected to be one of the drivers of the offense. If he’s gone, who shuffles up?
Questions that can certainly be answered later, and perhaps someone will rise to fill in the void should it be longer term. But one of the issues for the Blackhawks will be that depth after the second line, which is slightly improved from last season but will not benefit from a half season from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
That includes Max Domi’s production before he was dealt to Dallas.
So no, it’s not the end of the world. But in the event that Hall’s injury ends up being one of those nagging annoyances, the Blackhawks might have some nagging needs earlier than they expected.
Richardson on Bedard: ‘He’s Very Mature Beyond His Years’
Don’t let the babyface or the youth fool you. Richardson spoke specifically about Bedard’s approach to the game–which is already quite advanced.
“He’s very mature beyond his years, and he knows what’s going on out there,” Richardson said. “He’s build really low-wide, very much how you describe Russian players skate–very great balance on his feet. And I think he’s kind of wiry where he knows how to bounce off people that are coming at him and spin off like a Crosby and use that as a propellent.”
He was quick to halt the Bedard-is-Crosby comparison a bit, but said there’s some similarity in the type of his game. Regardless of the calm of comparison, it’s still high praise.
“He’s the type of rookie in any league that he doesn’t come in quietly,” Richardson said. “Everybody knows about him, everybody’s aware of him, everybody has seen him play. He’s not like the rookie who sneaks in and has a great month and no one knows where he came from.
He’s had that everywhere he’s gone and he’s overcome that and done well. I have all the confidence in the world for him to be outwitting and outsmarting his bigger opponents when it’s one-on-one situations.”