Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews resumes skating, might return to practice soon

Toews, who hasn’t played since Jan. 28 because of symptoms of long COVID and chronic immune response syndrome, is in a race against time to return this season.

SHARE Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews resumes skating, might return to practice soon
Jonathan Toews has resumed skating.

Jonathan Toews has resumed skating.

David Banks/AP

Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson saw captain Jonathan Toews before the game against the Canucks on Sunday at the United Center and confirmed Toews has resumed skating.

‘‘He was out with the guys and [Saturday], as well,’’ Richardson said. ‘‘[And] on and off when we were on the road trip. Today he seemed good and felt good. Hopefully that can progress into joining the team.’’

Toews, who hasn’t played since Jan. 28 because of symptoms of long COVID and chronic immune response syndrome, is in a race against time to play again this season. The Hawks have nine games remaining, and Richardson said there’s no timeline for Toews to return to practice. He indicated it might be soon, however.

‘‘To me, this has been the best kind of scenario that I’ve seen since him coming back,’’ Richardson said. ‘‘He’s feeling better, and hopefully that translates to getting on the ice with the [full] team. Unfortunately, we don’t practice [Monday] or later in the week, so it might be more to the end of the week, but we’ll see. Maybe he even gets out for morning skates.’’

Richardson said Toews also seemed to be in a good mood. That might have been helped by seeing former teammates such as Andrew Shaw, who took part in a legends game earlier Sunday.

‘‘Real good mindset right now,’’ Richardson said. ‘‘Hopefully that can translate and get to practice . . . at some point.’’

Man in the middle?

Wing Lukas Reichel also can be used at center, though the Hawks aren’t planning on slotting him up there in the lineup. Still, plans can change with injuries, which might force Reichel into the middle.

Richardson praised veteran Andreas Athanasiou for his work at center and said he plays well with Reichel.

‘‘Keeping [Reichel] out of the middle might be good,’’ Richardson said. “I thought the other night [the Capitals’ Tom] Wilson just missed him or let up on him a couple of times, I felt. So just him getting awareness of the league and who’s in the league, that might be a little safer spot up and down the wall.’’

Even at wing, Reichel was in the middle of the action against the Canucks. He scored the Hawks’ second goal, had five shots and consistently drove hard to the net.

‘‘He’s going to be a massive piece of this team in the future,’’ defenseman Seth Jones said. ‘‘You see glimpses, just like tonight, of the speed he can create and the offense he creates with the puck.’’

Missing Tinordi

The Hawks played most of the second and third periods without defenseman Jarred Tinordi, whose final shift came 3:30 into the second. Richardson said Tinordi is dealing with a recurring hip injury and might miss some time.

‘‘He brings energy [and] physicality for us,’’ Jones said.

This and that

Wyatt Kaiser was scratched in favor of fellow defenseman Andreas Englund. Richardson said Englund played to ‘‘get some fresh legs’’ in the lineup.

• Forward Buddy Robinson, who has skated in seven games with the Hawks, was assigned to Rockford. Anders Bjork played in Robinson’s spot.

The Latest
Mays died Tuesday afternoon at the age of 93.
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the two most severe illnesses to watch for amid rising temperatures.
Right-hander Keegan Thompson struck out the side in the ninth inning Tuesday for his first save of the season.
Sure, it’s early, but the Sky — riding a four-game losing streak — are outside of the playoff picture.