Blackhawks notes: Corey Crawford’s return remains in holding pattern
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The Blackhawks are holding off goalie Corey Crawford’s return even though he has declared himself fully healthy and ready.
Crawford has been a full participant in practice for more than a week and has been with the team for morning skates, but he remains on injured reserve. Coach Jeremy Colliton declined to say whether he’ll travel for the game in Detroit on Wednesday.
“It hasn’t been discussed,” Colliton said before his team hosted the Senators on Monday.
The Hawks have an open spot to activate Crawford without having to send Collin Delia down, but Colliton typically likes to have a full roster when the team goes on the road.
There’s no apparent reason to delay Crawford’s return now that he has been medically cleared and wants to play.
There could’ve been some hesitation given that Cam Ward was on his best run of the season with five consecutive wins and a .940 save percentage during that run, but he gave up five goals in a loss to the Blue Jackets on Saturday, and Colliton went with Delia against the Senators. Delia, however, was pulled in the first period in favor of Ward after allowing three goals.
The organization has supported Crawford’s comeback, even if it creates a logjam at the position. It’s unconventional for a team to carry three goalies, but Colliton hasn’t ruled that out and called it a good problem to have. No one has expressed reservations about Crawford playing again after two concussions, either.
“He wouldn’t come back unless he’s fully ready to come back,” general manager Stan Bowman said last week. “He’s the one that’s gonna say that, in conjunction with the doctors. . . . If he’s cleared to play and feels like he wants to play, these are athletes, and they want to play sports.”
Crawford said he never considered retiring when he went down in mid-December.
He had a .902 save percentage and 3.28 goals-against average in 23 games before the injury. He stopped 78 of 85 shots in his two starts before getting hurt on a collision at the net against the Sharks.
The Hawks ruled out defenseman Brent Seabrook less than an hour before the game because of an abdominal strain.
Colliton said after the Hawks’ 8-7 victory against the Senators that the injury was minor, but he wasn’t sure how long Seabrook would be out.
He was on the ice for the morning skate, and Colliton had planned to play him while sitting Carl Dahlstrom. Instead, Dahlstrom was a late addition to the lineup. The Hawks also made Patrick Kane an alternate captain in Seabrook’s absence.
Seabrook has played in 58 of 60 games, and his only other absence was because of illness. He is fifth on the team with an average ice time of 19:47.
Bowman was wheeling and dealing Monday, but the trade was far from earth-shattering. The Hawks sent Rockford defenseman Darren Raddysh, 22, to the Rangers for fellow AHL player Peter Holland.
A 28-year-old forward, Holland will report to the IceHogs. He had 20 goals and 29 assists in 52 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Holland was the 15th overall pick by the Ducks in 2009 and has played in 266 NHL games. His most recent appearance was late last season for the Rangers.