Corey Crawford’s absence from the first twelve days of Chicago’s training camp came as a surprise and the team was only able to provide the ’unfit to play’ designation. Crawford himself revealed the reason, telling reporters, including Scott Powers of The Athletic (Twitter link) that he tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, he had to spend the last couple of weeks in self-quarantine.
The good news for the Blackhawks is that he was cleared to practice today for the first time. Despite the short-term uncertainty surrounding when he’d be cleared to play, he was among the 31 players on Chicago’s eligible player list that was submitted on Friday, reports Sportsnet’s Mark Spector (Twitter link). He’ll now have the next week to get prepared for their Qualifying Round series against Edmonton which begins next weekend.
The veteran will be leaned on heavily against the Oilers. With Chicago trading Robin Lehner at the deadline, Malcolm Subban is now their backup so Crawford should get the chance to run with the starting job. A pending unrestricted free agent, the 35-year-old will be hoping that his play through their return (however long the Blackhawks last) will help propel him to land another starting role, be it in Chicago or elsewhere in October.