Crawford deemed “unfit to play”, concern over his NHL future

Is this finally the end for the Blackhawks’ long-time goaltender?

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Training camp has literally JUST opened and there’s already some potentially catastrophic news for the Chicago Blackhawks. According to a report from Blackhawks insider Scott Powers, goaltender Corey Crawford has been deemed “unfit to play”.

So… what does that mean exactly? Your guess is as good as mine. There have been a rash of players deemed “unfit to play” in the NHL today and there’s speculation that the league may be using that terminology to explain COVID-19 cases. Now, there’s also speculation that the league is using that terminology to describe ALL injuries and ailments. So far, fans and media are being left in the dark.

When it comes to Crawford though, there’s real speculation that the goaltender has something serious… maybe even career threatening.

From Lazerus:

Reading the tea leaves, so take this for what it’s worth, but Jeremy Colliton didn’t sound like a guy who’s expecting to have Corey Crawford available anytime soon.

Stan Bowman on Corey Crawford: “The way we are handling this is we’re looking at the guys that are here and ready to play. And when Corey’s in that group, then we can talk about Corey. … That’s a tough one to speculate on.”

That… that does not sound good. 

Obviously, the big concern right now is for Crawford's health. Whether it's COVID-19 or another setback in his ongoing battle with post-concussion symptoms, you have to be concerned for the veteran netminder. 

So... what happens between the pipes for the Blackhawks when they take on the Edmonton Oilers next month? According to head coach Jeremy Colliton, it'll be a dogfight between Malcolm Subban, Collin Delia, Kevin Lankinen and Matt Tomkins.

Colliton said Subban, Delia, Lankinen and Tomkins will all compete at goalie. Colliton said he wasn't able to provide any further info on Crawford. 

Now, let's get real. Neither Lankinen or Tomkins have played an NHL game in their careers up until this point and likely won't get their first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For better or worse it'll be up to Subban and Delia to carry the load. I don't know if you've seen this pair... but they're not exactly an Ed Belfour and Dominik Hasek like tandem...

Stay tuned for more details, Blackhawks fans.