The Blackhawks went back to work on Monday at Fifth Third Arena for Day 1 of their training camp leading up to the NHL's 24-team playoffs under Phase 3 of its Return To Play program.
The Hawks will be taking on the Oilers in Edmonton in a best-of-five play-in series on Aug. 1, the first day of the tournament. The camp will run up to July 26th, when Chicago will travel to Edmonton for the matchup.
The Blackhawks last united as a full squad in their 6-2 win over the San Jose Sharks at the United Center on March 11. League play paused on March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are four takeaways from Day 1 of Phase 3 training camp:
At the Hawks' practice facility, media entering the building had their temperature taken. If anyone had a fever they would not be allowed in. Masks are required for those covering camp. Select spots for the media, corresponding with social distancing guidelines, were assigned.
On the ice, Blackhawks coaches wore masks. Post practice interviews with select players and coach Jeremy Colliton are being done via Zoom.
Goalie Corey Crawford was "unfit" to participate in Day 1 of training camp according to Colliton. Crawford was listed on the team's training camp roster Monday morning before practice.
Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook fully participated in Day 1. He last joined the Hawks on December 15 for a game against the Wild before having surgeries on his right shoulder and both hips.
Defenseman Calvin de Haan, who had shoulder surgery in December, also skated on Monday.
Hit the ground skating
The session was by no means a, 'Hey, welcome back guys', dip back into hockey. It was a, 'Let's go,' deep dive back into the game to set the tone for what lies ahead: a chance at the Stanley Cup.
Hawks head coach Jeremy Colliton had the team participate in the 2-on-2 and 3-on-2 type of drills they normally would during the season, plus a lot of scrimmaging. After the scrimmages, the Blackhawks sprinted laps for as long as their legs would let them. Everything wrapped up in a little over an hour with select Blackhawks like Patrick Kane helping goalie Malcolm Subban see some shots.
Overall, the group looked in shape and ready for camp. It was obvious guys had found ways to either skate or stay fit wherever they were waiting out the pause. A little bit of the timing was off for some players in drills but that was to be expected with the layoff.
We were warned by his social media accounts ahead of camp, but Duncan Keith is in beast mode. He was flying on the ice Monday. Seabrook didn't seem too limited in his mobility but did appear to be skating cautiously at times. De Haan looks good to go and was even skating next to Connor Murphy in the team's second D pairing when they ran lines.
Blackhawks camp: 4 takeaways from Day 1 of Phase 3 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago