Analysis

When and Where Could Kirby Dach Play for the Blackhawks?

Kirby Dach #77, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Kirby Dach #77, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Kirby Dach, Chicago Blackhawks
Kirby Dach #77, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Kirby Dach is back on the ice, skating with the team less than three months after wrist surgery.

Following Kirby Dach’s return to the Blackhawks’ practices, Jeremy Colliton managed expectations by stating that Dach has “Ways to go” before he returns. According to different sources, Dach is also ahead of schedule in his recovery so we could very well see him late-March, early April.

When could he play?

Personally, I would like to see Kirby Dach come back against the Nashville Predators, whether it be the two-game homestand in late-March, or the single away game in early-April. Nashville has been underwhelming and could be the best way to ease him into the league on the first or second line. He could get a conditioning stint in Rockford, but that doesn’t seem to be likely so I’ll continue to believe he’ll play his first game post-surgery in the NHL.

He could also make his season debut against Carolina at the beginning of April, if the coaching staff thinks he’s ready to go. Carolina is a completely different beast than Nashville though and would be a difficult “welcome back” for Dach. The Hurricanes are a tough, physical team with great play in every area. This is all speculation though as the Blackhawks should be in no rush to bring him back before he’s ready.

With that said, his recovery is said to be going much faster than anyone expected and he is back on the ice, practicing with the team in early-March. He’s about a month ahead of schedule so we shouldn’t be surprised to see him back earlier than expected.

Late-April, Early-May was the original timeline of return, so mid-April wouldn’t be too farfetched.

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