Since rookie phenom Connor Bedard fractured his jaw just after the new year, he has visited doctors for weekly checkups every Monday, according to Chicago head coach Luke Richardson. As such, we’ve grown used to Mondays after Blackhawks practice being the expectation of when fans will get an update on the status of the face of their franchise.
This week was no different, as Richardson took the podium after Monday’s practice to answer the question anyone could’ve seen coming.
If Richardson’s comments are any indication, today’s checkup was likely Bedard’s penultimate one as he continues on the path to a full recovery. The 18-year-old is scheduled to shoot for medical clearance on February 19.
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No one will be more disappointed that Bedard won’t be back in time to play against the Canucks (his childhood favorite team) or Sidney Crosby and the Penguins than Bedard himself. It’s a tough timeline for the youngster to return in, as Chicago has games scheduled for every other day for the next two weeks. Though he’ll likely be cleared next Monday, the Blackhawks could be without his services for another four games.
Still, with Bedard’s lengthy recovery timeline, it’s realistic to hope that the Calder Trophy favorite can pick up where he left off, providing a much-needed spark to the Blackhawks’ offense. With eight of Chicago’s next nine games being played at the United Center, Blackhawks fans will also get plenty of chances to cheer on the team’s next superstar when he returns. The Blackhawks’ games against the Flyers and Jets on February 21 and 23 seem to be the most likely dates for Bedard’s return.
The Blackhawks’ update on Bedard isn’t exactly a pleasant surprise, but the superstar’s return isn’t too far off. Chicago’s offense may finally show some life as early as next week.