‘Hawks rule out Richards (upper body) for rest of regular season

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On Tuesday, Chicago announced that veteran center Brad Richards would miss the rest of the regular season — three games — with an upper-body injury, per the Tribune.

Richards is expected to return for the playoffs.

It’s unclear exactly what’s ailing the 34-year-old. Richards played in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Blues and took regular shifts throughout the game, getting more in the third period (nine) than in the first and second (six each).

While a potential injury might be cause for alarm — Richards has been a good fit in his first year in Chicago, with 12 goals and 37 points in 76 games — it’s possible the ‘Hawks are resting veterans as the playoffs draw near. Defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who’s appeared in 16 games since coming over from Philly at the trade deadline, was hurt early in Sunday’s  and will also sit tonight with an upper-body ailment.

Richards and Timonen (39) are two of the oldest players on the team and could very well need some rest and recuperation. What’s more, the ‘Hawks do have some youngsters to turn to, like former Colgate standout Kyle Baun — who’ll make his NHL debut tonight after signing as a free agent on Mar. 26 — and ex-Vermont defenseman Michael Paliotta, who also signed in late March and could soon make his big-league debut as well.