Chicago Blackhawks announce training camp dates

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • While Jonathan Toews prepares to help Team Canada compete in the World Cup of Hockey, the Blackhawks will open training camp on Sept. 23.

    While Jonathan Toews prepares to help Team Canada compete in the World Cup of Hockey, the Blackhawks will open training camp on Sept. 23. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP

 
 
Updated 9/8/2016 5:49 PM

Finally, after a long, hot and hockeyless spring/summer in Chicago, the Blackhawks will open training camp for the 2016-17 season on Friday, Sept. 23, at the United Center.

This is the first time since 2013 that the Hawks haven't held training camp in South Bend, Ind., on Notre Dame's campus.

 

Team officials decided to stay in Chicago because most of the top players are participating in the World Cup of Hockey. The Hawks have six forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender competing in the eight-team tournament in Toronto.

Then on Saturday, Sept. 24, the team will host its sold out Training Camp Festival on at the United Center. That event begins at 8 a.m. and will be highlighted by a Team A vs. Team B scrimmage at 11 a.m..

Other than the Festival, fans will not be able to see the Hawks practice until Sunday, Oct. 2, when they are scheduled to practice at Johnny's IceHouse West at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Other practice days at Johnny's include Oct. 6-8 and 10-11, although dates and times are subject to change.

The biggest names at camp will be defensemen Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Brian Campbell, goaltender Scott Darling and wingers Andrew Desjardins, Richard Panik, Dennis Rasmussen and Jordin Tootoo.

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Plenty of eyes will be on forwards Kyle Baun, Vincent Hinostroza, Ryan Hartman, Tanner Kero, Mark McNeill, Tyler Motte and Nick Schmaltz as they fight for roster spots.

Another winger to watch is Alexandre Fortin, the 19-year-old undrafted Quebec native who showed plenty of speed and skill at Prospects Camp in July.

The Hawks' first preseason game is at the United Center against Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Sept. 28. They close their six-game preseason slate at St. Louis on Saturday, Oct. 8, and begin the regular season at home against the Blues on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

The World Cup preliminary round begins Sept. 17 and the tournament goes until Sept. 29 or Oct. 1, depending whether a third game is needed in the best-of-three final. Team USA opens tournament play against Team Europe at 2:30 p.m. (CDT) Sept. 17, and the game can be seen on ESPN2.

• Follow John's Hawks reports on Twitter @johndietzdh.

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