Courageous captain Luke Hodge looks the only big-name Hawk likely to miss the exciting opening-round clash with their recent fierce rivals.
Hodge, 28, is still battling to recover from post-season knee surgery and is doubtful to be ready for the stand-alone clash at the hallowed MCG.
The skilful on-baller could see his first playing action of the 2013 season in the VFL, which does not start until the weekend after the opening round of the AFL.
Hawks defender Ben Stratton revealed on Friday that he's confident Hodge will play in the opening rounds, but could not say in which league that would be.
"I think Hodgey is right for Round 1, whether it's AFL or VFL, I think he'll be ready to go so he'll play some footy then," Stratton told the Hawthorn website.
Stratton did confirm that the Hawks are likely to have a strong squad to choose from ahead of Round 1.
Superstar forward Lance Franklin will sit out round three of Hawthorn's pre-season NAB Cup campaign, as he overcomes a corked thigh.
A host of other Hawks stars will sit out the trip to Launceston to face Richmond, including star veteran recruit Brian Lake, Brad Sewell, Cyril Rioli, David Hale, Jack Gunston and Brent Guerra.
Shaun Burgoyne, Grant Birchall and Xavier Ellis, however, will all make their first appearances of the pre-season competition.
Stratton said on the eve of the new season, competition for spots in the senior line-up would be tight.
"Then there's a few other blokes, I think (Luke) Breust and those players who are not going to play this week, so they're another week away," Stratton expanded.
"The way we're going everyone is sort of going to be ready to go come Round 1.
"It's going to be a tough time come selection.
"I think there'll be 30 to 32 blokes to choose from come Round 1 which is a good sign."