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Jonathan Toews out indefinitely for Blackhawks with illness

Report: Toews to miss Blackhawks training camp, start of regular season

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - AUGUST 18: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks on while playing against the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period of Game Five of the Western Conference First Round of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff at Rogers Place on August 18, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks released troubling statements about the captain’s health on Tuesday. While TSN’s Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger reported that Toews was expected to miss the Blackhawks’ training camp and start of the regular season, these updates seem more troubling. The short version: Toews is out indefinitely with an illness he’s still trying to understand.

Jonathan Toews out indefinitely for Blackhawks, still trying to understand illness

The week is young, yet it’s already been rough for Blackhawks injury news. Add Toews’ illness to Kirby Dach missing four-to-five months following wrist surgery, and Chicago must be reeling right now.

Toews, the Blackhawks, and Toews’ agent Pat Brisson released statements on the matter. You can find all three here, while this is the text of Toews’ statement:

“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.”

Scary stuff.

Blackhawks look thin at center position

As the Blackhawks and Brisson stated, Toews’ health is the most important thing here. Much like with Henrik Lundqvist’s health situation, hockey feels secondary.

Nonetheless, in each instance, there are ripple effects on the ice.

Again, the Blackhawks look that much thinner at center with Toews and Dach out for significant chunks of time. Their forward position has been hit hard, in general, as Alex Nylander looks to be sidelined for months.

With a weak defense core and inexperienced goalies, the Blackhawks might face a tough 2020-21 season. They already messaged fans about a rebuild, so at least expectations were already blunted.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.