CHICAGO – The Blackhawks are going to be without their captain for at least ten games.
Jonathan Toews was placed on long-term injured reserve Thursday along with Hawks up-and-coming star forward Kirby Dach. The designation means Toews will miss at least 24 days.
The 32-year-old, three-time Stanley Cup champ announced a few weeks ago that he would be away from the team while he dealt with an illness that has left him feeling “drained and lethargic.” There has been no word from Toews or the Blackhawks on what might be causing his symptoms, and he has asked for privacy while he focuses on his recovery.
Star winger Patrick Kane, who has played with Toews since 2007, said he has spoken with the center, but he didn’t want to talk about those conversations in any detail.
“I’ll just say that hopefully we have him back soon and if not, I think all of us kind of told him just to make sure he’s OK before that happens,” Kane said. “He’s obviously in the back of our minds and we’re thinking about him. It doesn’t really feel like a team without Jonny as your captain, so we definitely miss him.”
Toews had 18 goals and 42 assists in 70 games last season. He also is one of the team’s best defensive forwards and face-off options. But head coach Jeremy Colliton said his return to the ice isn’t the top priority.
“We’re supporting him however we can. That’s the No. 1 priority,” Colliton said, “and as far as when he’s coming back and all those things, it doesn’t really matter. We’re going to be of assistance as much as we can, and he knows that we’re supporting him.”
Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook will stay on short-term IR for time being with a lower back issue.