Day one of Blackhawks camp means a new beginning
The Zamboni came on and off Fifth Third Arena Thursday morning, leaving a fresh sheet of ice and symbolizing a new season, and a new type of season, for the rebuilding Blackhawks. New ice, new coach, new general manager and new systems.
"I think we're going to play a high pace," head coach Luke Richardson said of implementing his system. "That's why I emphasized some skating in drills, but also at the end. That's one area where we can be better than the other teams, just by working."
Defensively, they're thinking the same thing.
"It's fast defense, it's hard defense," Richardson said. "And that just gives us more energy to play offense instead of chipping the puck out after being in their zone for a minute and a half."
Ultimately, it's a fresh sheet of ice for everyone. New ice, new coach, new general manager, new systems and new attitude.
Team physician Dr. Michael Terry released some injury news on Thursday as well, which included defenseman Ian Mitchell expecting to miss six weeks with a left wrist injury.
On a more surprising side of things though, Jake McCabe was the first person out on the ice Thursday morning, skating in noncontact scenarios. McCabe had been reported on Sept. 13 to be out for 10 to 12 weeks after having cervical spine surgery.
"The timetable as far as I know is the same," Richardson said. "We just couldn't let him in any contact situation. He went out early, had a good warmup skate on his own and we thought it'd be good to be with the team. ... It's easy to sit up in the stands and watch but it's better for him to be at game level and that's where he's going to be playing. So, he was happy to stay out there and it was great to see him."