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Hawks send Brandon Saad back to OHL

Chicago Blackhawks Headshots

Chicago Blackhawks Headshots

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Updated: November 16, 2011 3:20PM



The Blackhawks sent forward Brandon Saad to juniors after practice Wednesday.

The Hawks assigned Saad, 18, to the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League after two games in the NHL.

Saad, the 43rd selection in this summer’s draft, had two shots in 13:05 in his NHL debut in the Hawks’ 2-1 loss Friday to the Dallas Stars.

“It’s obviously an adjustment going from the preseason to the regular season,” Saad said Wednesday before the move.

“We have a great group of guys here and a great team, and they’ve helped me out a lot.”

The Hawks had a nine-game window to start the season in which to assign Saad to a junior-league team and not use up a year on the three-year contract he signed at the end of training camp.

“You can’t worry about it too much,” Saad said before his first career game. “I’m here for a reason and just have to play my game, and the rest will fall into place, whatever they decide to do.”

During his two-game stint, he played on the Hawks’ two top lines with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane.

“He’s done some impressive things,” Kane said before Saad was reassigned. “I think as time goes along in the regular season, things get a bit tougher, and I’m sure he’ll realize that. But, so far, he hasn’t made any mistakes.”

Corey may not start 

No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford (lower body) returned to the ice after missing two days of practice.

Crawford, who nursed a groin injury during the preseason, said the latest knock was unrelated and that he picked it up during one of the back-to-back games to start the season.

“This wasn’t the same thing [as the groin injury],” Crawford said.

“This was just a little maintenance. I feel good, and we’ll make a decision [Thursday] on whether I play or not.”

Backup goalie Ray Emery missed practice with the flu.

Alexander Salak was recalled from Rockford and practiced in net.

Injuries 

Viktor Stalberg (knee) practiced with the team for the first time since he was injured Sept. 28.

Ben Smith (concussion), who was injured in the same game, continued to practice with the team but hasn’t been cleared for contact.



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