Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford finally admitted that it was a concussion that ended his season last year and has been causing him so many problems over the last few months. On the ice working his way back to playing shape today but not taking part in normal training camp activities, Crawford told reporters that is now “really close” despite still experiencing some concussion symptoms.
The Blackhawks are desperately trying to bounce back from their disappointing 2017-18 campaign, and probably the most important player on the entire roster is Crawford. Without him the team will have to go with a tandem of Cam Ward and Anton Forsberg, a duo that while upgraded from last season is still underwhelming at the very best. Ward does have experience as a starter of course, but hasn’t shown much over the last few seasons to prove that he can handle carrying a team to the postseason. Crawford getting back into the net at full strength would be a huge boost for the Blackhawks, but we’ll have to wait and see if he can get there.
- The Anaheim Ducks were pleased to have both Ryan Kesler and Patrick Eaves on the ice today when the team opened training camp, though it’s still not clear what their status is for the start of the season. There had been some rumors about Kesler perhaps missing the entire 2018-19 campaign with his ongoing hip troubles, but having him out on the ice even just skating is a step in the right direction. Eaves of course is coming back from his Guillain-Barre Syndrome diagnosis but would be an incredible boost to the Ducks’ secondary scoring group if he can return to full strength this season. In his 22 regular season games with the Ducks since being acquired in 2017, Eaves has scored 12 goals including 10 at even strength.
- The Vancouver Canucks added some size and toughness to the lineup this summer when they signed Tim Schaller, Jay Beagle and Antoine Roussel, but have already lost one of them to injury. Roussel will not be participating in training camp at this point after suffering a concussion in pre-camp scrimmages. Still skating, Roussel’s timeline hasn’t been made public and at this point is likely still undecided. It’s a tough start for a player who was signed to a four-year contract in July, despite never scoring 15 goals or 30 points in a single season.