CHICAGO (AP) — Johnny Oduya’s walking boot caused a bit of a stir this weekend at the Chicago Blackhawks’ annual fan convention.
The veteran defenseman said he broke his right foot when he blocked a shot in Game 7 of the Western Conference final against the Los Angeles Kings. The Blackhawks went on to a 5-4 loss that ended their bid for a repeat Stanley Cup title.
Oduya, who took three shifts after the injury, said he expects to be ready for training camp.
“It’s healing pretty good,” he said. “I feel good, and I’ll be good to go.”
When Oduya and the Blackhawks report to training camp in September, they will be joined by two new assistant coaches. Kevin Dineen replaces Jamie Kompon, who became general manager and coach of the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, and Jimmy Waite takes over for fired goaltenders coach Steve Weeks.
Dineen, 50, coached Canada’s women’s hockey team to a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics. He was the head coach for the Florida Panthers for two-plus seasons before being fired last fall.
Dineen played with coach Joel Quenneville for six seasons with the Hartford Whalers from 1984 to 1990.
“At the end of it you walk out of the room you know who’s boss and has the final say,” Dineen said. “But I think there will be a pretty good chemistry.”
The coaching staff is in place, but general manager Stan Bowman still has more work to do before the upcoming season. The Blackhawks need to pare more than $2 million from the payroll to get under the salary cap of $69 million.
Bowman declined to speculate on possible trades at the convention, but he praised first-round draft pick Nick Schmaltz and 19-year-old John Hayden for their work at the team’s recent prospect camp. Hayden is a 6-foot-3 center who was a freshman at Yale last season after being drafted 74th overall in 2013.
“He was sort of a man among boys out there this week,” Bowman said Saturday.
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