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Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa skates for first time since July surgery

CHICAGO - Marian Hossa, who signed a US$62.8-million, 12-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks during the off-season, skated for the first time Friday since undergoing surgery on his shoulder in July.

Hossa, who had 40 goals last season for the Detroit Red Wings before joining Chicago as a free agent, skated at an ice arena near the United Center. The Blackhawks cancelled their team practice Friday after back-to-back games Wednesday and Thursday.

"So far, I'm happy. I have to work on conditioning on the ice," Hossa told reporters after his workout. He said team doctors were also happy with his progress.

So was Chicago coach Joel Quenneville, whose team has won four straight and is 5-1-1 heading into Saturday night's game against Dallas.

"He's really progressing," Quenneville said, adding that he doesn't have an exact date for Hossa to join the team, but that it could be in late November or early December.

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