Blackhawks D Korchinski rejoins team after father's death
The 19-year-old Korchinski was on the ice for Chicago's morning skate ahead of Tuesday night's 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. Coach Luke Richardson said the rookie defenseman is going to need some time before he is ready for games again.
“It was great to see him,” Richardson said. “The guys really responded well having him back in the dressing room and he had a big smile in there this morning. So it was good to see him out on the ice.
"He hasn’t skated much, I think once when he was at home, so we’re just going to just let him have a couple of practices and see where he’s at and let him tell us when he’s ready to go.”
Korchinski has two goals and five assists in 25 games in his first NHL season. The No. 7 overall pick in the 2022 draft hasn't played since he skated for more than 18 minutes during a 1-0 victory over Anaheim on Dec. 7.
Larry Korchinski, who played junior hockey for Saskatoon in the Western Hockey League before becoming a lawyer, was 59 when he died. The Blackhawks flew to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Friday morning for the funeral.
Kevin Korchinski did not speak with the media following the morning skate.
“I don't know if anyone knew he was coming back (Tuesday), so I think it was a big uplifting thing to be able to see him,” forward Tyler Johnson said. “I mean he's family. He's our brother. We missed him.”
Forwards Colin Blackwell and MacKenzie Entwistle returned to Chicago's lineup for the matchup against Colorado. Entwistle had been sidelined by an illness, and Blackwell started his first game since Feb. 27.
Philipp Kurashev was scratched because of an illness after skating on the team's top line Tuesday morning.
The 30-year-old Blackwell had a team-high six hits while skating for more than 16 1/2 minutes. He is coming back after a series of setbacks following sports hernia surgery in March.
“Not bad for a guy that was basically playing men’s league for the last month,” Blackwell said. “Yeah, no, it felt pretty good. Obviously a lot of excitement, a lot of energy. It’s been a long time coming.”
While Entwistle and Blackwell returned to the lineup, defensemen Seth Jones (left shoulder) and Alex Vlasic (upper body), along with forwards Joey Anderson (left shoulder) and Andreas Athanasiou (groin), were sidelined by injuries. Anderson was placed on injured reserve on Monday.
Richardson said Jones probably won't return before the team's holiday break.
“It’s just one of those ones that it got a little bit worse after he got off the ice and showered up and saw him the next day,” he said. “So he’s a little farther out than Vlassy.”
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