Exhale, Chicago: Jonathan Toews was back at practice on Thursday after being ruled "unfit" to participate on Tuesday, according to head coach Jeremy Colliton.
Toews' absence invited questions because he left Monday's practice halfway through without any notable sign of ailment and Colliton said the staff was "just trying to keep him fresh. Nothing more than that." Colliton did not elaborate on why Toews did not practice on Tuesday other than saying he was "unfit", because the NHL and NHL Players' Association mutually agreed to keep all injury and medical information private for Phases 3 and 4.
But Toews provided a little more clarity after practice on Thursday.
“I was ‘unfit’ to participate, I guess," Toews said with a smile. "It really came down to maintenance. Nothing serious. Felt pretty good out there today.”
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The good news is, Toews has rejoined the team as the final days of training camp 2.0 wind down. The Blackhawks had a scheduled off day on Wednesday and have two more practices after Thursday before the team travels to its hub city of Edmonton on Sunday.
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said in a video conference call earlier in the week that the players who travel with the team to Edmonton will be the group for the entire postseason, barring any emergency circumstances.