Jonathan Toews, captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, is out indefinitely because he is dealing with an unknown illness.
“This season I have been experiencing symptoms that made me feel drained and sluggish,” Toews said in a statement from the team. ‘I work with doctors so I can better understand my condition.
“Until I can get my health back in a place where I feel I can perform at an elite level and help my team, I will not join the Blackhawks for a training camp. I do not have a timetable for when “I will not join the team again. I am very disappointed, but it will not be fair for myself or my teammates to try to play in my current state.”
Toews thanked the Blackhawks’ coaching staff, front office and ownership for their understanding and then addressed the fans.
“To Blackhawks fans, I will continue to do everything I can to get back on the ice and return to play the game I love for the team I love,” he said. “I will not comment further at this time and ask everyone to respect my privacy as I focus on my health and recovery.”
Toews’ issue is the latest blow for a team that was already in the midst of a rebuilding project but lost two young players who were supposed to make up a large part of it. Now he misses one of his veteran stars.
Toews was the first line of three Stanley Cup winning teams in Chicago. The 32-year-old had 60 points in 70 games last season. He has had at least 50 points in every season except one in his 13-year career and in 2019-20 had a best career 81.
On Monday, the Blackhawks announced that former No. 3 draft pick Kirby Dach will miss four to five months after playing his wrist for Canada during the IIHF World Junior Championships. He was operated on.
The attack Alex Nylander injured his knee in the play-off match last season and was operated on after feeling uncomfortable before this season. He will be out for four to six months.
Toews, along with Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, were also counted on to coach the team’s younger players. Seabrook, however, comes from his own health issues. He missed most of last season and underwent surgery on both his hips and his right shoulder.
It’s going to be a very different Blackhawks team, even without the injuries. Cup goalkeeper Corey Crawford was not re-signed in the off-season. The Blackhawks would rather give young goalkeepers Collin Delia, Malcolm Subban and Kevin Lankinen the chance. The team also traded Brandon Saad for young defender Nikita Zadorov to the Avalanche.
Chicago finished last in the Central Division last season, but reached the playoffs under the amended COVID-19 rules. The Blackhawks upset the Edmonton Oilers in the qualifying round, in which Toews led the team by seven points in four games. Chicago was then eliminated in five games by the Vegas Golden Knights.