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Patrick Sharp still plans to play in Blackhawks opener

Updated: November 15, 2011 9:34AM



Patrick Sharp still has Oct. 7 circled. That’s when the Blackhawks begin the season and when he hopes to be back after missing most of training camp after needing an appendectomy Sept. 12.

“I’m supposed to take it easy with the shooting and skating, but I feel fine out there,” said Sharp, who practiced for the first time Friday. “There are no limitations.”

Sharp won’t play in the exhibition finale Sunday against the Washington Capitals, but he hopes to play in the season opener Friday against the Dallas Stars. But before Sharp can take the wing on Jonathan Toews’ line, he needs to get full clearance from team doctors. Still, he’s thankful things have gone well.

“I’ve heard horror stories of people with the same procedure, but mine really wasn’t that bad,” Sharp said. “It was slight discomfort in that area. I felt it on Saturday morning and told our trainers. They had me check it out on Monday because the pain didn’t get any worse or better. Five hours later, I was getting surgery.’’

Suspension issued

NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan suspended Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith three preseason games and five regular-season games for his shoulder-to-head hit on forward Ben Smith.

Shanahan ruled “the positioning of [Ben Smith’s] head does not significantly change, so the onus remains on Detroit’s Brendan Smith to deliver a full-body check. Instead, Brendan Smith misses and recklessly targets his opponents’ head. This is a violation of the illegal check to the head rule.”

Brendan Smith reached out to Ben Smith, who is out with a concussion.

“I just apologized and said, ‘In no intentions did I try to do that,’ ’’ Brendan Smith told reporters in Detroit.



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