According to Meatloaf, two out of three ain’t bad. For the Chicago Blackhawks, it ain’t good.
Of the team’s three players who were out with concussions – Jonathan Toews, Steve Montador and Marian Hossa – only Montador failed his physical last Saturday. On Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc reported that Montador could not raise his heart rate without experiencing concussion-like symptoms during his physical. With this setback, he must go back to square one, which means he’ll have to work on healing in his day-to-day activities before he can even think of attempting to exert himself.
Montador suffered his initial concussion in February but returned for one game in March before being benched for the season. Sporadic reports over the extended offseason had him slowly doing workouts on the ice with Hossa, who was medically cleared in November, and other players who’d been injured. Montador himself had been cleared but took a hit from a teammate during an informal practice in the week before training camp began. A similar thing happened to Sidney Crosby, who had come back to the ice in November 2011 only to bench himself till March 2012 after receiving an alleged elbow shot from David Krejci.
The Blackhawks roster currently stands at 24 players, which means that Montador will most likely be placed on long-term injured reserve to bring that down to 23. That will give him the means to heal again while the team maintains their hope that he’ll join them before the season ends. In this accelerated race to the playoffs, the Blackhawks will need all the help they can get.