On Tuesday, the Chicago Blackhawks announced that captain Jonathan Toews will be out indefinitely while dealing with an as-of-yet undisclosed medical issue. Toews released 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.”
TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun initially reported that Toews would miss training camp and the beginning of the regular season due to “illness.”
Toews becomes the latest setback to an already injury-plagued roster which includes center Kirby Dach and forward Alex Nylander. Dach — who was injured during a pre-tournament game against Russia in the World Junior Championships — will miss 4-6 months after undergoing wrist surgery. Nylander is slated to miss 4-5 months following knee surgery.
The Blackhawks now find themselves without three of their top-six players heading into the 2020-2021 regular season, including their top-two centers in Toews and Dach. The Hawks will open their season on January 13th against the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.