Marian Hossa, Steve Montador better

Updated: June 19, 2012, 9:17 PM ET
By Jesse Rogers | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- As the Blackhawks prepare for the NHL draft this weekend in Pittsburgh, there are positive signs regarding some of their walking wounded.

Forward Marian Hossa is getting better, as is defenseman Steve Montador, according to general manager Stan Bowman. Both were unable to finish the season because of head injuries.

"Marian continues to improve," Bowman said Tuesday afternoon in a predraft conference call. "Same with Steve Montador. They're both on the mend and started their summer training programs getting ready for the season."

Montador missed time on two separate occasions because of head trauma, while Hossa was hit in the head by the Phoenix Coyotes' Raffi Torres in Game 3 of the Blackhawks' first-round playoff series. He was taken off on a stretcher and didn't play in another game in the series; Torres was suspended 25 games for the hit but is appealing the suspension.

"It's not something anyone can guarantee how people will progress but at this point we're very optimistic the way they're both feeling," Bowman said. "I suppose that could change but most likely it's full steam ahead. ... They're both doing well."

Forwards Dan Carcillo and Ben Smith are progressing as well. Both their seasons ended prematurely because of leg injuries. Carcillo blew out his knee in early January.

"He's back skating," Bowman said. "He's close to 100 percent. He's certainly ready to roll."

Carcillo signed a two-year contract extension in March, while Smith did the same on Monday.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.