CHICAGO – Veteran players will be important for the Blackhawks this season and in the near future as the team continues to build up a team that will feature a healthy amount of young players in the lineup.

So Tuesday’s news that came out about one of their more experienced defensemen wasn’t the best as the team gears up to start the 2022-2023 season.

The Blackhawks announced on Tuesday that Jake McCabe will be out for 10-to-12 weeks after undergoing successful cervical spine surgery. This would put him on track for a return in early-to-mid December, about two months into the regular season.

Prospect Jalen Luypen has also been ruled out for 14-to-18 weeks after having his left rotator cuff repaired.

McCabe is entering his tenth season in the NHL and his second with the Blackhawks after spending his first eight seasons with the Buffalo Sabres. His 75 games in the 2021-2022 season were the second-most of any defenseman on the Blackhawks, trailing only Seth Jones who took part in 78 contests.

He finished with four goals and 18 assists in those contests, which adds to his 22 goals and 77 assists in 428 career games.

The Blackhawks did add a veteran on the blue line earlier in the offseason that can help the team in McCabe’s absence and after his return with the signing of defenseman Jack Johnson back in August.

Now in a full rebuild under new general manager Kyle Davidson and head coach Luke Richardson, the Blackhawks open the preseason on Tuesday, September 27th against the Blues at the United Center. The regular season begins against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Avalanche on Wednesday, October 12th.