Blackhawks’ Corey Crawford unlikely to be ready for season opener

Coach Joel Quenneville provided an update Monday and said the starting goaltender could return to practice by the end of the week.

Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville doubts starting goaltender Corey Crawford will be ready for the regular season.

Quenneville, however, did tell reporters Monday that Crawford could join the rest of the team for practice by the end of the week. Chicago has three practices this week closed to the public prior to preseason games at the United Center.

Crawford has gone through individual skating and condition sessions with goaltending coach Jimmy Waite throughout training camp, but has yet to practice with the team. At the start of camp, Crawford reveled he suffered a concussion last December which had kept him sidelined for most of the season.

If Crawford is indeed unable to play in Chicago’s season opener Oct. 4 at Ottawa, the Hawks will turn to backup Cam Ward. The veteran netminder signed a one-year deal worth $3 million in July. Chicago also has goaltenders Anton Forsberg and Collin Delia, who both saw NHL action in Crawford’s absence last season.