Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews to miss start of season with undiagnosed illness

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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)
Jonathan Toews won't be available for the start of camp. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

After Nikita Kucherov was lost for the season, the newly-reimagined Central Division will be without another considerable attraction — at least to start.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will not be available for training camp or to begin the 2021 season due to an undisclosed illness, as first reported by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger.

As expected, the Blackhawks confirmed that Toews will miss the start of the season, stating in a release that he is suffering from an undiagnosed health issue.

It included this message from Toews:

“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.”

Toews is the second highly important player the Blackhawks have lost in the last few days. Returning sophomore Kirby Dach will need four-to-five months to recover from wrist surgery after being injured while on loan to Canada for the 2021 world junior championship.

Chicago signed free-agent centre Carl Soderberg to a one-year deal on Monday to help offset the losses — or at least fill some of the empty space.

Here’s hoping Toews will soon again feel like himself.

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