Patrick Kane’s wrist surgery puts a damper on Blackhawks Convention
BY ADAM L. JAHNS firstname.lastname@example.org July 16, 2011 12:02AM
Updated: May 9, 2012 9:38AM
Last year, goalie Antti Niemi’s arbitration hearing hung over the opening night of the Blackhawks’ annual convention.
This year, winger Patrick Kane’s left wrist injury that will require surgery overshadowed all the fun.
“It sucks,” Jonathan Toews said. “No jokes from me on that one. I’m sure he’s frustrated.”
There was other news Friday. Winger Michael Frolik signed a three-year contract, and former Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Sami Lepisto signed a one-year deal. The Hawks also ended negotiations with restricted free-agent defenseman Chris Campoli.
But Kane’s status looms larger than everything.
Kane said his left wrist bothered him during the playoffs, but tests at the time didn’t reveal a fracture. It continued to bother him during his offseason training in Buffalo, and he had it re-examined Thursday in Chicago. Tests revealed a scaphoid fracture. Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, and he’s expected to miss six to eight weeks. Kane will return in time for training camp.
“I thought it was getting better, but it’s in an area where no blood can get to the fracture and something I’m going to have fixed for later down the road,” said Kane, who wore a brace. “It’s one of those things, I fix it out now [and] it’s not going to affect me when the season comes.
“I was shocked for sure, and you’re obviously sad about the news. But I’m happy we’re doing it now rather than when I come to training camp and I’m out two months after that.”
The next biggest surprise was the Hawks’ decision to walk away from Campoli, who has an arbitration hearing Aug. 3. The Hawks had said they wanted to re-sign Campoli, a restricted free agent who improved the Hawks’ defensive depth after he was acquired from the Ottawa Senators before the trade deadline.
“It was apparent from the beginning that their salary demands were not in concert with where we see him fitting in our team,” Bowman said. “The dollar [amount] that they’re looking for is not agreeable with our mixture. If we don’t trade him, then he will become an unrestricted free agent.”
The Hawks then signed Lepisto, a 26-year-old with 150 games of regular-season experience, to a one-year, $750,000 deal.
“We’re comfortable with the group we have now on the back end,” Bowman said. “It took awhile to sort it all out. But we’re happy to have them.”
Frolik, a restricted free agent, signed a three-year deal worth $7 million. His raise likely didn’t help Campoli’s situation, but signing Frolik, acquired from the Florida Panthers last season, was important. The Hawks needed more skill up front after signing tough guys Jamal Mayers and Daniel Carcillo.
“I’m real happy it’s done,” said Frolik, who signed the deal after landing in Chicago for the convention. “I’m excited to be here and play for the Hawks. I was here the last few months last year, and I really enjoyed the time here. It was really different than Florida. I really loved the city. It’s a hockey town.”