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Blackhawks’ Kane likely out Sunday for protocol

CHICAGO — Blackhawks star Patrick Kane likely will miss Sunday night’s game against Detroit because of the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.

The Blackhawks announced Sunday morning that forward Ryan Carpenter and defenseman Erik Gustafsson had been removed from COVID-19 protocol, but there was no word on Kane.

All three players missed practice Saturday after entering the protocol.

Asked if Kane could play against the Red Wings, coach Jeremy Colliton responded: “With all these COVID guys, there’s so much going on. We’re just going to take it one day at a time, so we’ll see what we have tonight.”

Assistant coach Tomas Mitell also remains in the protocol. Former NHL forward Chris Kunitz replaced Mitell behind the bench for Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Vancouver.

The COVID-19 protocols for the Blackhawks don’t necessarily mean that Mitell or any of the players tested positive. They could have been deemed a close contact of someone who tested positive. General manager Stan Bowman said during training camp that the team was 100% vaccinated.

The struggling Blackhawks are off to an 0-4-1 start. Kane leads the team with four assists and five points.

“If he’s not in, that’s obviously a huge loss,” defenseman Connor Murphy said. “He creates so much for us offensively. … But we know we have a lot of good players, a lot of depth that guys can step up.”

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