Had it not been for a lockout that has already caused for the cancellation of all September preseason games, Friday would have been the first day of training camp for the Chicago Blackhawks. Instead the team members are organizing their own practices at Johnny's Ice House.
Nina Falcone of CSN Chicago spoke to the Blackhawks about their Friday practice that wasn't in the setting they've become accustomed to for late September. "I'd rather be [at training camp] than waking up at 10 and struggling on over here," Dave Bolland told her.
Similar to players in the NFL and NBA, the NHL players have banded together to organize practices away from the facilities they are no longer allowed to visit. While the practices allow the players to stay in playing shape and prepare for the season, they are not given direct access to valuable assets like trainers and medical professionals.
Tony Brouwer understands the fans frustrations and told Falcone about some frustrations of his own:
"You can only just wait and see right now. It sucks when sides aren't talking, but at the same time there are other things that the League and [Players Association] have to do right now to prepare for more talks."
The regular season is scheduled to open Oct. 13 for the Blackhawks when they face the Blue Jackets, but that is obviously dependent on CBA negotiations.