Crawford was healthy this season after missing 80 games over the last two years due to concussions, but had been ruled “unfit to play” since the start of Chicago’s summer training camp on July 13. He did not take part in the Blackhawks’ voluntary workouts that began on June 8, either.
“We still have a fair amount of time until Aug. 1 and the first game,” Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said Tuesday. “We’re not thinking that far ahead right now. We’re really kind of here day to day. Like we said at the outset, right now Corey’s not here, so we’re focused on the other four goalies. If and when Corey’s ready, then we’ll have that conversation.”
The four goaltenders Chicago had at camp were Malcolm Subban, Collin Delia, Kevin Lankinen and Matt Tomkins.
In 40 games with the Blackhawks this season, Crawford went 16-20-3 with a 2.77 goals against average.
Chicago, a 12-seed, will face the No. 5 seed Edmonton Oilers in a best-of-five series starting Aug. 1 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
It remains unclear if Crawford will be available to play for the Blackhawks in time for Game 1.
The winner of that Qualifiers series will advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the loser will have a chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.