The Chicago Blackhawks have officially set their opening day roster for the start of the NHL season, and a few key players won’t be available when they drop the puck in the Czech Republic.
The team announced Tuesday that defenseman Connor Murphy and forward John Quenneville will both begin the season on injured reserve due to injury. Murphy is nursing a groin issue, and Quenneville is battling a right hip injury.
Murphy’s injury isn’t believed to be serious, and he could potentially return to action when the Blackhawks return to the United States after Friday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Blackhawks also announced that 2019 first-round draft pick Kirby Dach will start the season with an injured/non-roster designation, meaning that the clock will not start on his NHL career. Once the Blackhawks activate him, they will have nine games before they have to decide whether to burn a year of his entry level contract or allow him to return to the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades.
The Blackhawks did get some good news, as it appears forward Zack Smith will be healthy enough to at least begin the season on the active roster. He has been battling an injury as well, but the fact he wasn’t placed on injured reserve portends well for his chances to make an impact early.
Here is the full Blackhawks roster:
Forwards – Drake Caggiula, Ryan Carpenter, Alex DeBrincat, David Kampf, Patrick Kane, Dominik Kubalik, Michael Nylander, Brendan Perlini, Brandon Saad, Andrew Shaw, Zack Smith, Dylan Strome, Jonathan Toews
Defensemen – Calvin de Haan, Erik Gustafsson, Duncan Keith, Slater Koekkoek, Olli Maatta, Brent Seabrook
Goaltenders – Corey Crawford, Robin Lehner
The Blackhawks will begin the regular season on Friday afternoon when they take on the Flyers in Prague. Puck drop is scheduled for 1 p.m. Central time.