Getting ready for training camp

Training camp for the 2010-11 season begins on Saturday, and recently the Blackhawks released their camp schedule, including their sold-out Camp Festival held on the first day.

At the beginning of camp, players will be split into three teams. The gates to the United Center will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Only fans who have pre-purchased tickets will be allowed entry.

From 9:15-9:45 a.m., the Stanley Cup will be displayed on center ice. At 10:00, the first Hawks practice of the year begins. Joel Quenneville will wear a microphone as he runs his Team A squad through drills. From 10:45 to noon, Team A and Team B will scrimmage. From 12:15 to 1:30, Team B and Team C will play. At 1:45 p.m., Quenneville will run Team C through drills. Festival Day is scheduled to end at 2:30 p.m.

The teams will alternate their schedules on Sunday and Monday. Those practice days will be held at the United Center but will be closed to the public. On Tuesday, a “championship game” from the weekend scrimmages will be held at 10 am at Johnny’s IceHouse West. And then there will be a practice with the third-place team held immediately following the game. All events at Johnny’s IceHouse are open to the public.

On Wednesday, Sept. 22, the Hawks will fly to Winnipeg for their preseason opener to play the Tampa Bay Lightning. As the games begin, and soon after roster cutdowns, the Hawks will split into two groups for practice.

On preseason gamedays, there are usually two practices held. One by those playing in the game and one by non-gameday players. Usually the preseason rosters are split between veterans and prospects. As the Hawks get closer to opening day, they will consolidate their roster to about 28-30 players. That should happen the week of September 27 -- about a week to ten days before the regular season starts. By Monday morning, Oct. 4 -- at the latest -- the Hawks final roster should be announced.

The Hawks will hold media day on Friday before camp opens.