The Chicago Blackhawks announced on Tuesday that Jonathan Toews will not attend training camp and will be out indefinitely after suffering from an undetermined medical issue.
“This offseason, I’ve been experiencing symptoms that have left me feeling drained and lethargic,” Toews said in a statement. “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.”
Blackhawks training camp opens on January 3.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) December 29, 2020
“I am grateful for the continuous support from and ongoing communication with the Blackhawks organization,” Toews continued. “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.”
Toews, a potential Hockey Hall of Famer when he retires, has helped lead the Blackhawks to three different Stanley Cups (2010, 2013, 2015). During his 13 seasons with Chicago, Toews has scored 345 goals and 815 points in 943 games. He’s scored 20 or more goals in 12 of those 13 seasons.
“Jonathan’s health is our top priority as he deals with this medical issue,” GM Stan Bowman said in a release. “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.”
The Blackhawks enter the 2020-21 season in a self-announced rebuild. The team let longtime goaltender Corey Crawford walk during free agency and traded Brandon Saad to the Colorado Avalanche.
“[W]hat I don’t want it to mean is we’re trying to tear this team apart and trying to bring in a whole new group of players in the next year and a half,” Bowman told ESPN. “But we do need to rebuild the depth of our team. We don’t have enough players, top to bottom, to compete with the top teams. We’ve got a lot of good players, we’ve got a pretty good start on the makings of a good team, but we still have a ways to go yet, and I accept that.”
Toews was shocked by the moves and disappointed by the lack of communication on its direction.
“I’ve never been told that we were going through a rebuild,” the Chicago captain told The Athletic in the fall. “That has never been communicated to me, for that matter. A lot of this comes as a shock because it’s a completely different direction than we expected.”
He added, “It’s sad. It’s really disappointing.”
The Blackhawks are already without star young player Kirby Dach who fractured his wrist during the World Junior Championship. Dach will be out four to five months after undergoing surgery.
Headline photo courtesy of @JonathanToews
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