Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford said Friday during a media scrum at MB Ice Arena that he suffered a concussion last year and is still dealing from some lingering symptoms.
Crawford also stated that he is progressing and is “really close” to returning, but is “not ready to go yet.”
Corey Crawford said he has progressed, but he can’t put a timeline on his return pic.twitter.com/yRtItRvN5Q— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) September 14, 2018
The 33-year-old netminder last played Dec. 23 when he gave up three goals on seven shots in a 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils, and was pulled in the first period. Six days prior, he took a puck to the head against the Minnesota Wild but stayed in the game. Crawford did not say when he suffered the concussion.
Prior to his injury, Crawford posted some of the best numbers of his career with a .929 save percentage and 2.27 goals-against average and a 16-9-2 record.
On Dec. 27, the Hawks placed Crawford on injured reserve with an undisclosed upper-body injury. The Chicago Sun-Times later reported he was experiencing vertigo-like symptoms. In February, he participated in a morning skate with the team in Arizona, but was later shut down for the remainder of the season.
Throughout the offseason the Hawks’ front-office state that they expected Crawford to be ready for training camp, but did not detail what his injury was nor the severity of it. At the team’s fan convention in late July, Crawford made his first public appearance since February. He said he was “not at 100 percent, yet.”
Crawford skated and went through drills Friday for 30 minutes with goaltending coach Jimmy Waite before the team’s practice. He said he’s been able to skate the last two weeks, but The Athletic reported he had not taken shots prior to Friday’s session.
The Hawks announced Friday that defensemen Connor Murphy will miss two months (back) and Brent Seabrook will be out a week (abdominal). The team also stated that blueliner Gustav Forsling is still recovering from offseason surgery on his right wrist. In July, they said Forsling would be out three months.
The 25-year-old Murphy scored two goals with 12 assists last season for Chicago. He averaged 16 minutes, 22 seconds of ice time per game for the second lowest total among Hawks defensemen.
Murphy is expected to miss at least 19 regular-season games, with a possible return Nov. 14 at home against St. Louis. Seabrook’s projected return of a week is Chicago’s third preseason game in Ottawa, but it’s more likely he’ll be back on the ice for the team’s Sept. 25 home contest against Detroit.
Training camp schedule
Chicago has 14 practices left for training camp before its regular-season opener Oct. 4 at Ottawa. There will be 11 practices open to the public at MB Ice Arena, with three sessions closed to the public the day of preseason home games at the United Center. Morning practices the day of road preseason games are open to the public and are split into non-game and game players.