Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will have plenty of roster options when training camp opens on Friday.
Not only do the Blackhawks have an abundance of players under contract -- especially forwards -- who will be battling for one of the final roster spots, they’ll also have a number of veterans on professional tryout agreements looking to do the same.
The Blackhawks' training camp roster, which was released Wednesday, included a number of players who have NHL experience but don’t currently have NHL contracts. Forwards Tomas Kopecky and Daniel Paille and defensemen Kyle Cumiskey, Jan Hejda, Michal Rozsival and Lubomir Visnovsky will all attend the Blackhawks camp on professional tryout agreements.
Kopecky, 33, had two goals, six assists and averaged 12:54 of ice time for the Florida Panthers last season. He has played 578 NHL regular-season games and previously played with the Blackhawks for two seasons. He said last month he’d be willing to join the Blackhawks again.
“Definitely,” Kopecky said while attending Marian Hossa's Stanley Cup party in Trencin, Slovakia. “That’s one of the best spots for hockey, and one of the best two years I had in my career was in Chicago. It’s a top-notch organization, and they treat players well. The coaching staff is obviously one of the best in the league.”
Here's a look at how the other veterans have fared:
Paille, a 31-year-old forward, had six goals, seven assists and averaged 11:31 of ice time in 71 games for the Boston Bruins last season. He has played 570 NHL regular-season games.
Cumiskey, 28, played in seven regular-season games and nine playoff games for the Blackhawks last season. He has played 139 NHL regular-season games.
Hejda, 37, had one goal, 12 assists and averaged 20:39 of ice time in 81 games for the Colorado Avalanche last season. He has played 627 NHL regular-season games.
Rozsival, 37, has one goal, 12 assists and averaged 17:01 of ice time in 65 games for the Blackhawks last season. He played in 10 playoff games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. He has played 890 NHL regular-season games.
Visnovsky, 39, had five goals, 15 assists and 19:32 of ice time in 53 games for the New York Islanders last season. He has played 883 NHL regular-season games.
Forward Hayden McCool, 18, and goalie Brandon Hope, 21, are also attending the camp on professional tryout agreements. Both players recently played for the Blackhawks in the Traverse City rookie tournament.