Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will miss the 2016 NHL All-Star Game due to illness, according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times. Predators forward James Neal will take Toews' spot on the Central Division team for the upcoming event in Nashville.
Toews, who was named to the team by the NHL earlier in the month, missed the third period of Chicago's first-half finale against the Hurricanes due to the illness. It wasn't clear how bad things were because the Hawks were already down 5-0, leading to the possibility he was simply getting extra rest, but apparently it will take the star forward some extra time to get back his health.
"At this time, rest over the break is most important for him to properly recover and be fully healthy," Blackhawks team doctor Michael Terry said, via Lazerus.
Per NHL rules, Toews will be forced to miss the Blackhawks' game against the Avalanche on Feb. 2. Any player named an All-Star who misses the game, regardless of whether it's due to injury, is required to sit out his team's first game following the break. I'm not entirely sure I understand or agree with the rule, but the Hawks will accept having Toews miss one game if it means getting him over a week off.