Defenseman Steve Montador hasn't play since Feb. 7 in Colorado because of a concussion. But he's finally starting to target some dates for his return.
He's just not saying what they are publicly.
"I have an idea but I don't want to make it live, so if it doesn't happen, there's kind of maybe less scrutiny to go through other than to say ... I'll just keep that to myself," said Montador, who has been cleared for contact. "I feel as close as I've ever been."
Montador continues to practice with the Hawks, but he remains on injured reserve. Montador said his goal is to play before the regular season is over. The Hawks have seven games left.
"That's the best case scenario," he said. "You can skate all you want and I felt great out there, but a game especially at this time of year is a different pace. I'm going to take care of myself. I'm feeling as good as I've been and a couple more skates will help. But I certainly want to get some games in before the end of the year."
The Hawks will be without defenseman Duncan Keith for the next five games after he was suspended five games for elbowing Canucks forward Daniel Sedin in the head. But Montador won't rush his return.
"I will go with the pace that I need to go," Montador said. "We've got a lot of depth here on D and no calls have been made other than health reasons. ... I've felt better for the most part every day. I'm on an upside trend."