How Blackhawks plan to move forward without Connor Bedard, 8 others on injured reserve

How Blackhawks plan to move forward without Connor Bedard, 8 others on injured reserve originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The Chicago Blackhawks recently completed a five-game road swing, and it was a disastrous trip, not only because they went 0-4-1 during it but because five more players were added to the injured reserve list, which included rookie phenom Connor Bedard (fractured jaw).

The players didn't know what to think on the plane ride home.

"Honestly, it was just shock almost, and disbelief that we can’t get through a game, we can’t get through a whole road trip," Jason Dickinson said. "It’s crazy. We don’t know what else to say at the end of the day. We just can’t stay healthy, we can’t keep guys on the ice.

"A couple of us are just sitting there talking about everything. We laugh, like, what else is there to do? It's just comical at this point that bodies just keep dropping for us and we can't catch a break. So like, what else do you do but laugh at it? This is just unbelievable, right?"

Ryan Donato was speechless, too.

"I don't think I've ever seen something like this happen," he said. "And it's not just little things, right?"

Here's Chicago's list of players that are on injured reserve:

• Joey Anderson (left shoulder)

• Andreas Athanasiou (groin)

• Anthony Beauvillier (left wrist)

• Connor Bedard (fractured jaw)

• Nick Foligno (left finger)

• Tyler Johnson (right foot)

• Seth Jones (left shoulder)

• Taylor Hall (right knee)

• Taylor Raddysh (groin)

And that doesn't include Corey Perry, who was dismissed from the team in November.

That's almost $40 million worth of salary that's not in the lineup for the Blackhawks. It's mind-boggling.

Dickinson put on his general manager hat during the plane ride home on Friday night to try figuring out who might be in the lineup on Sunday afternoon because there's legitimately nobody left.

"I was wondering if maybe we'd go 11-and-7, if we'd have a couple of D-men playing forward," Dickinson said. "I was looking at all the options to see what was possible for us to put a roster on the ice. I think Kyle's doing his job right now making sure that we've got a roster that can go."

The good news is, Anderson, Jones and Raddysh each skated on their own after practice on Saturday. But unfortunately for Chicago, they're not ready to return to the lineup just yet.

"Everybody, as soon as we saw them walk in the room, it was like how are you doing, how you feeling, how close do you think you are, can you push it a little?" Dickinson laughed. "We’re definitely excited and hopeful that their progression continues to go well."

Because of the decimated roster, Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson made two additions on Saturday. He acquired forward Rem Pitlick from Pittsburgh for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2026, and also claimed forward Zach Sanford off waivers from Arizona.

That should at least buy them some time for the next few weeks.

"We just have to do what we’ve been doing, scrambling our lineup together and mixing up the chemistry," Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said. "As soon as we seem to find a little something, someone goes down. It’s definitely a challenge."

When asked how he's coping with all the injuries and lineup decisions, a smiling Richardson summed it up perfectly: "Exercise and wine. I'm not lying. I put exercise first, but it is true, I do that.

"I feel like when I get off the bike this morning, I pushed to the max to the limit. I'm not a player anymore but I try and push like I'm working out in the player's facility and I feel good after I shower and I feel refreshed and I'm ready to work and do what we need to do today to make sure we're a little bit better tomorrow so we have an opportunity to try and win at home."

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