CHICAGO -- Rookie center Jonathan Toews, Chicago's
first-round pick in last year's draft, broke his right index finger
Wednesday night during the Blackhawks' 4-3 preseason loss to
Columbus and is expected to be sidelined about three weeks.
It was a rough night for the Blackhawks, who also lost
defenseman Ryan Stokes to a severe cut on his face. Stokes was hurt in the
closing minutes after he tried to check Columbus forward Jared Boll. He fell in a pile along the boards and was taken by ambulance
to the University of Chicago Hospital after the game to be stitched.
Blackhawks spokesman Jim De Maria said Stokes would likely spend
Wednesday night in the hospital for observation.
The 19-year-old Toews, a University of North Dakota standout who
was chosen third overall in the 2006 draft, was injured when a puck
struck his hand late in the second period, Blackhawks coach Denis Savard said.
Toews helped lead Canada to the gold medal in this year's world
junior tournament and is expected to play for the Blackhawks this season.
Savard said he hopes Toews will return in time for Chicago's regular-season opener on Oct. 4 at Minnesota.