Chicago Sun-Times

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Blackhawks defenseman Steve Montador couldn't find any good words to describe the current situation the league, the players, fans and those who depend on hockey in some way to make a living are in right now.

More than 250 players will descend on New York on Wednesday and Thursday as the NHL Players' Association gathers days before an inevitable lockout.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires Sept. 15 and commissioner Gary Bettman said the league would lock out players if a deal is not reached. With only informal talks taking place recently -- formal discussions broke off on Aug. 31 -- it's apparent that deal is far from happening.


Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews is one step closer to returning from his concussion. Toews is set to be cleared for contact as soon as Thursday afternoon.

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.

OTTAWA, Ontario -- As the Blackhawks prepared for the Ottawa Senators Friday morning at Scotiabank Place, center Jonathan Toews and Steve Montador took steps closer to returning to the lineup miles away in Chicago.

Jonathan Toews, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador will not travel with the team to Los Angeles or Anaheim for the Blackhawks' games against the Kings and Ducks this weekend. The team departed Friday.


SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Injured Blackhawks defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson and Steve Montador went back to Chicago, while rookie Dylan Olsen joined the team in San Jose for their game Friday against the Sharks.

In other words, the Hawks' blue line will look very different.

DENVER -- Things have already already gotten bad for the Blackhawks. To make matters worse, the flu is now going around their locker room.

Marcus Kruger doesn't have a personal timeline or a date in mind he's targeting for his return. Right now, he said he's taking everything "day by day" as he recovers from his concussion.

The Blackhawks' precarious injury situation meant change on Wednesday.

The team added rookies defenseman Dylan Olsen and winger Andrew Shaw to their roster, while placing defenseman Steve Montador and center Marcus Kruger on injured reserve.


About the blogger

Adam L. Jahns is a native Chicagoan. Jahns has been with the Sun-Times since 2005, covering the Hawks since 2009. He's also helped cover the Bears, Cubs, Sox and high schools. Follow him on Twitter:@adamjahns



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