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Good Chance Connor Bedard Makes NHL Return for Blackhawks

Word this morning is that Connor Bedard could be making his NHL return from injury tonight for the Blackhawks vs the Penguins.

According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, “Word this morning that Blackhawks and Connor Bedard are checking in with doctors about the possibility of playing tonight vs Pittsburgh. We will see what the day brings, but the good news is his return is close.” It was uncertain how accurate this was, but another NHL insider, Kevin Weekes, has reported that “…we’ll be seeing Bedard 98 making a return to the lineup tonight for the Blackhawks.”

It should be noted that Weekes’ first tweet said “we’ll be seeing” and a second tweet was changed to “There’s a good chance we’ll be seeing…”

According to a couple of sources, Bedard underwent an imaging scan on Wednesday morning and it was likely he would join the team for practice. That he was potentially returning Thursday night caught many by surprise.

He’s looked good in appearances and took part in the All-Star skills competition, but it wasn’t clear he was close to an NHL return or that he could physically handle the demands of NHL action.

Connor Bedard Ahead of Schedule

It was speculated he would be out 6-8 weeks when he fractured his jaw on a hit from New Jersey Devils defenseman Brendan Smith in the first period of Chicago’s game on Jan. 5. This puts Bedard about a week ahead of schedule, and well ahead of the eight-week timeline.

Connor Bedard Blackhawks return

Whether he officially makes an unexpected return tonight remains to be seen. With no morning skate, that may not be learned until pre-game warmups. The one thing the Blackhawks don’t want to do is rush him back. This isn’t about saving the season or making the playoffs. So, if Bedard can return, it’s because he’s very much ready and the organization feels he’s not at risk of further aggravating the issue.

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