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Hossa continues to make progress, tests his shoulder
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff

Colorado's Matt Hendricks, right, delivers a shot to the Hawks' Colin Fraser during the first period Wednesday night.


Associated Press

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Published: 11/13/2009 12:02 AM

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Injured forward Marian Hossa took another small step toward his return to the lineup when he began some light hitting in a 1-on-1 drill with defenseman Jordan Hendry along the boards after practice Thursday.

"It was my first try to see how the shoulder is - a few battles in the corner - and it felt pretty comfortable," Hossa said.

"There's a little progression there," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We foresee him playing on this trip, and we're excited about that."

Hossa said the plan is to continue the light hitting this week before beginning full contact next week.

His teammates can't wait.

"He looks great in practice; he looks pretty ready to go," captain Jonathan Toews said. "He's going to bring a lot of energy up front."

It's official: The Hawks on Thursday placed center Dave Bolland on injured reserve. The 23-year-old center underwent back surgery this week and is expected to be out 3-4 months.

"It hurts your depth when your top centerman goes down," Jonathan Toews said, "but we're going to have to get used to it."

1-2 punch: It's not often a player gets in two scrapes in one game, but that was the case for Colin Fraser on Wednesday night against Colorado.

And the fourth line forward came out of it none the worse for wear.

"Fighting is tiring. Anybody who's wrestled with their brother growing up knows how tiring it can be," Fraser said. "I know my role. I'm not going to play 20 minutes, so I try to help out in other ways. I was just trying to provide a spark for the team."

Moving on up: The value of the Blackhawks franchise jumped 26 percent to $258 million in 2008-09, according to a survey released by Forbes magazine.

The Hawks were 14th in the NHL in 2007-08 with a value of $205 million but leapfrogged to No. 7 last season.

He said it: Hawks captain Jonathan Toews on returning to the lineup after suffering a concussion: "In a lot of ways the two-week break was a good thing. From a long trip overseas to training camp, everything kind of adds up. You don't realize until you stop moving for a while how tired you can get."