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Blackhawks Notebook: Sharp Hopes To Be Back For Opener

By Adam Hoge-

(CBS) Patrick Sharp's appendectomy is certainly a setback, but the Blackhawks are happy it didn't happen during the season and all signs point to him being ready right around the start of the regular season.

"I saw him last night and he looked all right and I think he's targeting the start of the year so he should be fine," head coach Joel Quenneville said at Blackhawks Media Day Friday.

Sharp is supposed to return in 3-4 weeks. The Blackhawks season opener is in Dallas Friday, Oct. 7, which is exactly three weeks away.

"I wouldn't say it impacts our training camp or our season really," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "Should be a few weeks until we have him back and ready to go. In the scheme of things it's minor."

Bowman refused to commit to Sharp being ready for the opener, however.

Hossa Not In Camp

Marion Hossa is still reeling from the tragic plane crash in Russia that wiped out the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team, including his good friend Pavol Demitra. He's not yet back in Chicago, but informed the team he would return soon.

"He's going to be here in a couple days," Bowman said. "Marion's gone through a tough time here. (Demitra) was one of his close friends and I spoke to him the other day and it's a real tough situation for him to deal with."

In some good news, Hossa and his wife welcomed their first child just a few days ago, which is another reason why his arrival to training camp has been delayed.

Bolland Still Thinking About Head Injuries

Dave Bolland spent most of last season dealing with the side effects of a concussion and said it's unlikely he's ever going to be able to get the fear of head injuries out his head while playing.

"It's always going to be in the back of my head," he said. "I think it's always going to be sitting there lingering around, being sure who's coming, who is going to be hitting me or just being more aware on the ice."

Bolland says he feels a lot better now than he did at the end of the regular season, but it will be interesting to see how he reacts when he returns to the ice. He played well in the playoffs against the Canucks despite echoing the same sentiments toward the end of last season.

"I think I'm great now," Bolland said. "It does get scary when you see some guys like Sidney Crosby and a lot of those guys that are out and are having problems. You do really have that in the back of your head because you never know during the season what's going to happen."

Crawford Has A Different Feeling

After years of fighting for his job, Corey Crawford is finally "the guy" in net and it's almost impossible for him not to feel a difference this season.

"Yeah there's a little bit of a different feeling," he said. "It's nice to know you have a three-year deal coming into camp. But still, at the same time, I'm so focused to earn that ice time and to show the guys – even the new guys – that you're the guy."

Toews Welcomes His Brother

The Blackhawks traded for Jonathan Toews' brother earlier this week and the captain is obviously excited.

"I really didn't see that coming, but it's going to be a huge opportunity for him," he said. "He's one of those young players whose got a lot of talent and he's been through a couple tough years the last few years with injuries. Especially those important years where you have to develop so he's just looking for an opportunity."

Toews hinted that his brother could start off with the Rockford Ice Hogs.

Meanwhile, Toews also addressed the video of him accidentally running over a kid at a youth hockey camp that has gone viral.

"He's OK, just so you guys know. He shook it off. Took awhile," Toews said, laughing.

Jonathan Toews knocks out kid at hockey camp by Josh McConnell on YouTube

Toews said he got a lot of texts about it with friends joking, "Wow, you learned how to hit over the offseason or something?"

Strength Is A Focus

It's worth noting that a lot of the players were walking around in shirts that simply said: "STRENGTH".

Friday was a day full of physicals and fitness testing, but it's obvious that the main focus of the offseason was getting tougher and more physical.

For more from Blackhawks Media Day, follow Adam on Twitter (@AdamHogeCBS).

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