In an article by NBC Sports Chicago’s Pat Boyle detailing five things he’s thinking about entering training camp (a similar concept from us will be coming within the next 24 hours) he mentioned that Corey Crawford has made a return to the ice.
Now let me preface this by saying that this report should be taken with a grain of salt. This does not mean that Corey is “back” or that he will be ready to go come October 4th against the Ottawa Senators.
It’s worth noting that the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune and nearly every other major Chicago sports media outlet have yet to touch this report at all. Perhaps it’s because there isn’t a whole lot to touch.
That said, Pat Boyle, who’s been an NBC Sports Chicago anchor since 2004, reported that he was told that Crawford has made a return to the ice. Boyle currently hosts the Chicago Blackhawks pre and postgame shows.
"“I was told Crow was on the ice last week for the first time since last February and that it went well,” Boyle said."
Boyle went on to say that he saw Crawford and he looked great. Additionally, he’s still on the training camp roster, however there’s no surprise there.
Chicago Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough spoke on Crawford following the 2019 Winter Classic press conference earlier this month.
"“I know he’s been working out on a regular basis, so we’ll find out shortly,” said McDonough. He then continued, adding “We’re hoping that he’s ready for training camp and that starts in a few weeks and [that he will] be ready to go when the season starts.”"
While this is all encouraging McDonough’s quotes here are consistent with the same message we’ve heard all off-season from coach Joel Quenneville and GM Stan Bowman. That, of course, is less than encouraging. At this point, the organization certainly sounds like a broken record.
Regardless, that message, being that everyone expects him to be ready by training camp, was more or less discredited when Corey Crawford said at the Blackhawks Convention that he wasn’t certain if he’d be good to go.
“That’s hard to say right now, but it’s very possible,” Crawford said the convention. “We’ve come a long way in the last couple months, and there’s a really good chance that could happen.”
Crawford told the media at the Chicago Blackhawks convention that he’s doing well and feeling good, however he did add “I am not at 100 percent yet.”
Though the situation still remains largely up in the air, it’s nice to know that Crawford, who hasn’t skated since last February, is finally back out there in some capacity. We have no idea to what extent he was “on the ice,” but the fact he was at all is a very big step in the right direction.
Mark Lazerus of the Athletic tweeted that he too was told Crawford has made a return to the ice, however he’s faced no real “hockey action.” I’ll go ahead and leave “real” and “hockey action” open to interpretation. As we all know, skating is one thing, but taking 100 mph slap shots is, well, another.
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Hopefully, this will all become clearer once training camp opens up this Friday. A timeline for a potential return would be ideal, however I think it’s wishful thinking as head injuries are tough to gage. Stay tuned for our storylines to watch for come training camp and any additional updates on the Crawford saga.