It's one step forward, one step back for Patrick Kane.
The Chicago Blackhawks star, who was expecting to return to the lineup Friday night, aggravated a left ankle injury at practice Thursday.
Coach Joel Quenneville said the winger, who has missed four games, is now a doubtful starter for the showdown against the Detroit Red Wings.
"(Kane) might need a day off," Quenneville told the Chicago Tribune.
The Blackhawks will be a bit thin up front against the Wings. Forwards Marian Hossa (lower body) and Viktor Stalberg (upper body) also are doubtful for the home game. Hossa has missed seven games while Stalberg was hurt Wednesday night on a check from Ryan O'Byrne of the Colorado Avalanche.
Journeyman Steve Begin is back in the NHL, after being recalled Thursday by the Nashville Predators.
The 32-year-old forward had been playing with Milwaukee of the AHL after agreeing to a one-year, two-way contract with the Preds on Oct. 21.
He had three goals and one assist in 21 game for Milwaukee.
Begin had five goals and nine assists in 77 games with the Boston Bruins last season.
National team set for Spengler
Journeyman Serge Aubin, who played 374 NHL games earlier in his career, has been selected captain of the Canadian team for the Spengler Cup, Dec. 26-31 in Davos, Switzerland.
Aubin, 35, now plays for Gotteron in the Swiss league.
Coach Mark Messier's roster will feature 10 players who were part of the Canadian team that finished fourth last year. They include Aubin, Micki DuPont, Travis Roche, Curtis Murphy, Brett McLean, Mark Bell, J.P. Vigier, Brendan Brooks, Curtis Brown and Blaine Down.
Roster additions include Glen Metropolit, who was with the Montreal Canadiens last season.
Canada has won the Spengler 11 times, most recently in 2007.
Besides Canada's national team, other entries include Geneve Servette of Switzerland, SKA St. Petersburg of Russia, Sparta Prague of the Czech Republic, Spartak Moscow of Russia and HC Davos of Switzerland.
BRIEFLY: The Montreal Canadiens have demoted centre Dustin Boyd to Hamilton of the AHL ... The Pittsburgh Penguins
have assigned forward Dustin Jeffrey to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL ... The Tampa Bay Lightning have sent forward Johan Harju to Norfolk of the AHL ... Retired NHLers Olaf Kolzig and Nick Kypreos will be honorary captains at the AHL all-star game Jan. 30-31 in Hershey, Pa. Kolzig, a goalie, and Kypreos, an abrasive forward, got their start in the AHL ... Defenceman Matt Greene was scratched from the Los Angeles Kings game Thursday night. Greene was still feeling the effects of a hard hit Monday by the Red Wings' Niklas Kronwall.