Connor Bedard is officially making his Chicago Blackhawks return against the Pittsburgh Penguins

The Blackhawks have confirmed he will return after missing 14 games.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The day started with the possibility that rookie phenom Connor Bedard could make his return from a fractured jaw injury tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Now the team has confirmed he will return to the ice after missing 14 games. Well, vaguely.

Local team reporters have confirmed that Bedard will be back on the ice tonight in a matchup that already had star power with Sidney Crosby making his yearly trip to Chicago.

Head coach Luke Richardson said at the beginning of the week that Bedard was on track to return next week. That was in line with the initial six to eight weeks return timeline given after Bedard suffered the injury on January 5th against the New Jersey Devils.

Bedard was supposed to have a follow-up appointment with his doctor next Monday to get cleared for contact in practice. Then the plan was Bedard would get a few practices under his belt before returning to game action.

There was a good chance Bedard would return on Sunday, February 25th against the Detroit Red Wings. That is a huge game because former Hawks great, and now a Red Wing, Patrick Kane is scheduled to play his first game at United Center after he was traded to the New York Rangers last year. In addition, the Blackhawks are retiring Chris Chelios' No. 7.

Turns out Bedard is not going to need to get in a practice or two before he plays again.

Bedard has been chomping (no pun intended) at the bit to return as soon as possible. It got to the point that the team needed him to accept to not rush his return.

Interestingly, the team is reversing course and having him return for this star-studded game against the Penguins. Maybe the offense being awful without Bedard is a reason. The scoring output was not great with Connor on the ice, but at least there was a chance the Hawks were going to score some goals.

Since he went out, the Hawks are averaging less than two goals. They have been shut out in four games during his absence and have scored two goals or less in regulation or overtime in seven of those games. The team is currently in the middle of a seven-game losing streak.

The Chicago Blackhawks went 3-10-1 with Bedard on injured reserve. So all this losing might be another reason Bedard is back.

The one thing every player was doing with Bedard out was not standing around watching Connor play. Bedard is so talented compared to the rest of his teammates that he had the same effect Kane had last season where everyone was hoping he would do something special.

The hope is everyone plays with Bedard instead of watching him. For now, it is good that we will be able to see him playing.

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