The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Tuesday morning that captain Jonathan Toews will be out indefinitely with a medical issue.
The 32-year-old issued the following statement:
“This offseason, I’ve been experiencing symptoms that have left me feeling drained and lethargic. I am working with doctors so I can better understand my condition.
Until I can get my health back to a place where I feel I can perform at an elite level and help my team, I will not be joining the Blackhawks for training camp. I do not have a timetable for when I will rejoin the team. I am extremely disappointed, but it wouldn’t be fair to myself or my teammates to attempt to play in my current condition.
I am grateful for the continuous support from and ongoing communication with the Blackhawks organization. Stan Bowman, Rocky Wirtz, Danny Wirtz, Jeremy Colliton, and my teammates have been nothing but understanding of my situation, and I appreciate them standing by me.
To Blackhawks fans, I will continue to do whatever I can to get back on the ice and return to play the game I love for the team I love. I will not be making any further comment at this time and ask everyone to please respect my privacy as I focus on my health and recovery.”
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman released the following statement:
“Jonathan’s health is our top priority as he deals with this medical issue. The Chicago Blackhawks organization and our medical staff will provide all necessary resources to help him return to playing hockey. While he will not report to training camp on January 3 and will be out indefinitely, we will continue to support him as he is an important part of our family. I’ve been in regular communication with Jonathan recently and will continue that as he takes care of his health.
The health and privacy of all our players is paramount to the Chicago Blackhawks organization. We care about Jonathan, and we know how badly he wants to be with his teammates competing on the ice. We will provide further updates on his status as circumstances change and do not have a timetable for his return.”
After losing starter Corey Crawford in free agency, the Blackhawks’ slim Stanley Cup Playoff hopes dwindle even more with the loss of Toews, who was second on the Blackhawks with 42 assists and 60 points last season. For a team that averaged 2.97 goals-per-game last season (just 18th in the league) and already lost Brandon Saad and Drake Caggiula over the offseason, the news that Toews is out is significant for a team in need of scoring.
The Blackhawks announced a few months ago that the team is entering a rebuild. They also announced on Monday that center Kirby Dach will miss 4-5 months after undergoing surgery to repair a right wrist fracture sustained at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championships.
The Blackhawks open the season at the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, January 13.
By Harrison Brown