The NHL season is fast approaching but the Chicago Blackhawks will be without Jonathan Toews.
Reports have indicated that the team will make an announcement later on Tuesday regarding the status of their captain.
As per @DarrenDreger and me, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews won't be at camp and will miss the start of the season due to illness. Expect official announcement shortly from the team.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 29, 2020
The news comes just one day after it was reported that the team’s third overall selection in the 2019 NHL Draft, Kirby Dach, would be sidelined from all hockey-related activities for 4-5 months.
How longs can the Blackhawks survive without Jonathan Toews?
Toews, 32, played in 70 games during the 2019-2020 season, the lowest mark of his career since the 2012-13 lockout-shortened campaign (47). The native of Winnipeg, Manitoba scored 18 goals and added 42 assists last season, aiding the Blackhawks to a berth in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers and a series win against the Edmonton Oilers.
The three-time Stanley Cup champion will not participate in the early goings of training camp for the first time since 2016, when he was selected to represent Canada at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.
Chicago will look to Dylan Strome and newly-signed forward Carl Soderberg to fill the void at the center position in the absence of their captain. Toews has worn the “C” since 2008, after being selected by the franchise third overall in the 2006 draft.
The news regarding Toews temporarily moves Strome into the number one center role, however the 23-year old remains an unsigned restricted free agent with the Blackhawks’ season opener quickly approaching.
Chicago opens its upcoming campaign in Tampa against the Lightning on Jan. 13.