Crawford missed 47 games last season with a concussion that occurred in December 2017. He didn’t make his debut this season debut until Oct. 18. In 22 games this season, Crawford is 6-14-2 with a .903 save percentage and a 3.23 goals-against average.
The earliest Crawford will be eligible to return is Dec. 27 against the Wild in Chicago, exactly a year from his last game of the 2017-18 season.
Crawford was injured during the first period in Chicago’s 7-3 loss to the Sharks on Sunday. His head hit the goalpost after a collision with teammate Dylan Strome and Sharks forward Evander Kane. Crawford skated off the ice with head athletic trainer Mike Gapski and did not return.
Cam Ward replaced Crawford in net, and allowed five more goals on 35 shots in the loss. Ward is expected to shoulder the workload with Crawford out. The Blackhawks signed Ward to a one-year contract worth $3 million with a no-movement clause in July. The 34-year-old veteran is 4-5-4 with a 4.17 GAA and .883 save percentage in 14 games in his first season with Chicago after spending his entire career with the Hurricanes.
In a corresponding move, the Blackhawks recalled Collin Delia from the AHL on “an emergency basis” and brought up Kevin Lankinen from the ECHL to fill in for Delia in Rockford.
It’s the second call up this season for Delia, who was brought up to the NHL for the Blackhawks’ season opener Oct. 3 in Ottawa after Anton Forsberg was injured during the morning skate. Delia served as Ward’s backup and did not play. Delia was re-assigned to the AHL, and has been one of the best goalies in the league. He leads the AHL with a .933 save percentage and his 2.34 GAA is tied for third through 17 games.