In case you missed the news late last week, 2010 NHL All-Star Game MVP Patrick Sharp had an emergency appendectomy. He is looking at an absence of three to four weeks.
The timetable for his return is close to the season's opening, but Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville (a well-documented mad scientist when it comes to roster juggling) has all of the team's training camp to manipulate potential lines and special teams to see what he has on the 2011-12 roster.
With a number of new faces brought in this summer and a few kids hoping to make the big team out of camp, the absence of Sharp opens the door for some players to move into a position on the roster.
Here are five guys that have a great opportunity to establish their niche on the roster before opening night.