The Blackhawks were complete on Saturday after the team had waited the first 12 days of Phase 3 training camp for goalie Corey Crawford to join the squad.
On a Zoom video conference call with Blackhawks media following Saturday's practice, Crawford announced he had previously been diagnosed with COVID-19 and had been quarantining at his family's home in Chicago the past few weeks.
Crawford was deemed "unfit to play" after his absence on Day 1 of practices but was on the ice Saturday for the session and even participated in some of a scrimmage before heading in early.
It was the Hawks' final training camp practice in Chicago before heading to Edmonton for the NHL's 24-team postseason in which they'll face the St. Louis Blues in an exhibition game on Wednesday and begin a best-of-five play-in series against the Oilers next Saturday.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion described what dealing with COVID-19 was like for him and his family.
“A lot of people have different symptoms. I heard some stuff on the news. I was trying to stay as safe as possible with my family," Crawford said. "We spent a lot of time at home, actually, with two young kids: a new baby at home and our 2-year-old. We didn’t really spend that much time, a lot of time out.
"It was actually a really big surprise that I tested positive. I was just hoping to recover as quickly as possible, hearing that some people’s symptoms could last for months. But it seemed to go by fairly quick with pretty much flu-like symptoms. Once those were gone, the bad ones, within a few days it was just more trying to recover and get the 10 days — and we even went further than that, the two weeks, to just make sure it was the safest thing.
“The last couple weeks maybe was a little bit easier, but I still couldn’t do much in case there was something wrong with my lungs or my heart. So we had to get that checked out first before I really started pushing in the gym or come on the ice. All that has been done. The doctors did a good job. I think we were safe enough about it. We didn’t put anyone else at risk. I’m just excited to be back on the ice and seeing pucks again.”