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Defenseman Brian Campbell looked and felt much better after Wednesday's morning skate. His injured left foot held up just fine.

So will he play Wednesday against the Florida Panthers?

A league-high six Blackhawks made the fan ballot for the 2011 All-Star game. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Brian Campbell all made the fan ballot.

From Nov. 15 to Jan. 3, fans have a chance to select up to six players by position -- three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender - despite conference for the 2011 All-Star Game in Raleigh, N.C.

There have been considerable changes made to the All-Star game, including the elimination of conference play and the use of captains to pick teams.

Former Hawks Dustin Byfuglien (Altanta) and Antti Niemi (San Jose) also made the fan ballot. Byfuglien is tied with Nicklas Lidstrom for the most points among defensemen with 16. Niemi is an interesting choice. The goalie is 1-4 this season and no longer the starter.

Patrick Sharp, the Hawks' leading scorer, was a snub.

Here is the full list:

NEW YORK -- Brian Campbell is back.

The Blackhawks defenseman will return to the lineup a month to the day after spraining his right knee Oct. 1 in preseason play.

It turns out center Dave Bolland has been battling an injury. The Hawks center is now considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Bolland didn't play in the third period of Friday's loss to the Oilers after sitting out the morning skate and practice Thursday.

The good news is that coach Joel Quenneville said it has nothing to do with the herniated disc that required surgery and forced Bolland to miss half of last season.

"I don't think it's serious. I don't think we're talking the same thing [as last year]," Quenneville said. "It's upper body. I'm going to rule out this injury has anything to do with last year."

On Campbell

On Friday, Quenneville had called Brian Campbell's availability during this two-game trip to Minnesota (Saturday) and New York (Monday) "doubtful."

But when asked about Campbell (sprained right knee) Saturday, Quenneville had a more positive outlook.

"I'm a little more encouraged than I was the other day," Quenneville said. "I'm optimistically encouraged."

So there is at least a slight chance that Campbell could play Monday against the Rangers.

Defenseman Brian Campbell will travel with the Hawks on their two-game road trip to Minnesota (Saturday) and New York (Monday).

But will he play? The Hawks could certainly use him after Marian Hossa was ruled out two weeks with an upper-body injury.

Defenseman Brian Campbell joined his Blackhawks teammates on the ice for the first time in just over three weeks Wednesday at the United Center.

Campbell, of course, won't play against the Los Angeles Kings. He also questioned whether he would be able to play against the Minnesota Wild (Saturday) or New York Rangers (Monday). Coach Joel Quenneville had targeted those games earlier in the week.

It could only be a matter of days before defenseman Brian Campbell is back in the Blackhawks lineup.

Coach Joel Quenneville said Tuesday after practice that it's possible Campbell will return during their two-game road trip to Minnesota and New York, which starts Saturday against the Wild. The Rangers game on Monday looks like a real option.

campbellq.jpgBlackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell skated for the first time since spraining his right knee in the preseason on Saturday.

Campbell was ruled out four to five weeks after hurting his knee in an exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 1. His rehab has remained on schedule. Campbell had hoped to skate within three weeks of the injury. He will have to wear a knee brace when he returns.

"He skated [Saturday]," coach Joel Quenneville said before the Hawks' hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets. "He looked good. He'll get a couple of practices with us, and we'll get a better idea. He's not too far away."

A day after suffering the injury, Campbell said he strained his medial collateral ligament and his knee was hyperextended.

''I felt great [and] was playing quite a few minutes and felt good, in shape, ready to go. Kind of a fluke [injury]," he said. "It's pretty disappointing.''

Campbell was fortunate the injury wasn't worse.

''I got back to the bench and it was going away, so I was hoping I could make it back out there,'' he said. ''Nothing was torn -- that's four or six months. I'm going to do everything I can to be back as quick as I can.''

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was the bearer of bad news Saturday. But it could have been much worse.

Quenneville said defenseman Brian Campbell will be out four to five weeks with a right knee sprain.

Asked if it could have been worse, Quenneville said "if you get the ACL in there and all of sudden it's a different type of damage. It's part of the business."

Campbell crumpled to the ice less than four minutes into the second period of Friday's exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He did not return and appeared to be favoring his right leg.

Nick Leddy, 19, is expected to get a chance to play with Niklas Hjalmarsson, Campbell's defensive partner, Sunday in the Hawks' final exhibition game against the St. Louis Blues.

"[Sunday] we might try that pair together as a unit and see how they handle it," Quenneville said. "That's an option."

Leddy played 20:38 in Friday's game.

"It's a big jump from where [Leddy] was last year," Quenneville said. "He seems to pretty low-key in his approach. But at the same time, he's excited about the opportunity that's ahead of him. With young guys, you still have to keep any eye on them -- a defenseman, in particular. He's absorbed a lot as he's gone through this camp. At this stage in his career, that's a good sign that he's perceptive and applies it correctly."


Warner Home Video's Official "2010 Stanley Cup Champions" DVD hits the shelves and stacks of area stores Tuesday -- and there will be some autograph signings for fans to kick off its arrival.


About the blogger

Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan hailing from the Far Northwest Side. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times for more than four years, covering the Hawks, Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools.


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