CHICAGO – At the moment, there aren’t a lot of familiar faces on the ice for Blackhawks fans to see when they head to the United Center on Monday evening to watch their team or check in on television.

It’s fair to say that the most recognizable player on the ice will be Senators’ forward Alex DeBrincat, who will play his first game in Chicago after he was traded by the home team on NHL Draft night 2022.

Patrick Kane is off to New York while other players who were productive on the 2022-2023 rebuilding Blackhawks’ team, like Max Domi, Sam Lafferty, and Jake McCabe, going dealt away for draft picks at the trade deadline.

Of course, Jonathan Toews is the only link left on the roster to the dynasty days of the 2010s, but even he isn’t on the ice as he continues to work his way back to health. Out of the lineup since late January, Toews announced on February 19 that he was dealing with long COVID and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome.

Essentially, it prevented him from being traded at the NHL deadline on March 3, but there never was a set return date for the team’s captain. On Monday, there isn’t much more clarity when it comes to a return of Toews to the lineup.

“I thought the timeline was going to be a little bit earlier to get on the ice but the way he was feeling, we wanted to continue in the gym and hopefully he’ll get to that next step soon,” said head coach Luke Richardson when asked an update on the center’s return to the lineup.

Toews last played for the Blackhawks on January 28 and hasn’t taken the ice much at all since then. He’s entering the final year of his contract and has five weeks to try and get back on the ice before the end of the 2022-2023 season.

At the moment, Richardson said Toews is among the players, providing advice to a number of young players who make up this new-look roster.

“He’s around the rink, he’s been around the guys, which is a good help, I find,” said Richardson. “He’s a calming veteran leader, and I’m sure he’s given some good advice to the younger guys, the new guys.”

Perhaps he can do so on the ice sooner than later, but like a lot with the Blackhawks at the moment, it’s very uncertain when that could happen.