Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is “out indefinitely” and will miss the start of the 2021 NHL season, per a statement released by the team on Tuesday morning.
The news was first reported in tweets from TSN reporters Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun.
The organization later released statements from Toews, president of hockey operations and general manager Stan Bowman and hockey agent Pat Brisson, who represents Toews.
“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.”
Statement from Bowman:
“Jonathan’s health is our top priority as he deals with this medical issue. The Chicago Blackhawks organization and our medical staff will provide all necessary resources to help him return to playing hockey. While he will not report to training camp on January 3 and will be out indefinitely, we will continue to support him as he is an important part of our family. I’ve been in regular communication with Jonathan recently and will continue that as he takes care of his health.
The health and privacy of all our players is paramount to the Chicago Blackhawks organization. We care about Jonathan, and we know how badly he wants to be with his teammates competing on the ice. We will provide further updates on his status as circumstances change and do not have a timetable for his return.”
It’s the latest piece of bad news in a week full of it for the Blackhawks.
Last Wednesday, the team announced that Alex Nylander would be out 4-6 months following knee surgery, a timeline that probably keeps him from playing at any point in the 2021 season. The news only got worse that evening, when 2019 No. 3 overall Kirby Dach was injured in a World Juniors pre-tournament game against Russia, an injury that turned out to be a fractured wrist that has him on a similar recovery timeline as Nylander.
Toews was coming off another productive season in 2019-20, scoring 60 points in 70 regular season games. He also tied with Patrick Kane for the team lead with nine points in nine postseason games.