Blackhawks' De Haan sets sights on being stabilizing factor on defense

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Calvin de Haan, playing last season for Carolina, keeps Washington's Alex Ovechkin from getting to the puck in an April playoff game. De Haan had his first practice Tuesday with the Blackhawks.

    Calvin de Haan, playing last season for Carolina, keeps Washington's Alex Ovechkin from getting to the puck in an April playoff game. De Haan had his first practice Tuesday with the Blackhawks. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 9/18/2019 8:20 AM

Calvin de Haan wants nothing more than to be able to play in the Blackhawks' season opener Oct. 4 in Prague.

Tuesday was a good first step in helping that become a reality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

De Haan, acquired in June from Carolina, took part Tuesday in his first training camp practice at Fifth Third Arena. He's been rehabbing from shoulder surgery and nursing a groin injury he suffered while training.

"Just feels nice to get back out there after a long summer of not really skating that much," de Haan said. "It's nice to get to know your teammates out on the ice as well."

De Haan isn't going to provide much offense, but he figures to help fix the Hawks' league-worst penalty kill by blocking plenty of shots.

His veteran presence will also be a welcome addition at even strength. Too often the past couple of years, the Hawks have been gashed in the defensive zone when playing inexperienced lineups.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

De Haan, who had 1 goal and 13 assists in 74 games last season, said he feels good and wants to make it difficult for coach Jeremy Colliton to keep him out of the lineup.

"I'm just going to keep working and do as I'm told," de Haan said. "I really want to play that first game. But … there's another 81 after that so there's not really a big rush."

Dach still out

The Hawks have completed five days of training camp, and Kirby Dach has still not been able to participate on the ice. The No. 3 overall pick of June's draft remains in the concussion protocol. He was run into the boards during the Traverse City prospects tournament last Tuesday.

The question is, how much is this hurting his chances?

"If he comes back and is great, then it won't hurt him. We'll see," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "I would love to see him. I would love him to be able to go through this stretch of camp with the team, getting him used to being around NHL players and how we want to play.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"The most important thing is his health. We've got to make sure he's 100 percent; no question marks when he comes back and then we'll play the cards from there."

What a shot

Adam Boqvist showed off his offensive prowess -- and juggling skills -- during the Hawks' 4-3 overtime loss Monday in Washington. Seconds before he rifled a shot past Capitals goaltender Pheonix Copley, the young D-man settled a puck down behind the net by bouncing it on his stick three times.

Boqvist also earned an assist when he alertly zipped a pass to Alex Nylander as Nylander was going to the net in the second period.

"He's a special player," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "He does some things that not everyone can do. … He's a threat it seems from anywhere. He's got such a quick release and just zings it in."

Extra, extra

Jeremy Colliton said the Hawks will bring a couple of extra players overseas when the team leaves for Europe Sept. 26. "We do have that exhibition game in Berlin (Sept. 29) and there's always a chance of injuries. I don't think we need to name our roster until October, so we'll probably use the whole time."

He said it

"I'll be all right. You know what -- that's the downside of not being a player anymore."

-- -- Jeremy Colliton on how he figures to hold up after coaching three straight preseason games Monday through Wednesday

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.