The news isn’t great, and according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravelli, the Chicago Blackhawks are going to be without star Connor Bedard for some time.
Seravalli reports that the Blackhawks rookie had surgery Monday and will be out approximately six-to-eight weeks in recovery. This is a massive blow to the lineup, but also another with Bedard likely, on the conservative side of things, not being available until the middle of February–if not longer.
The Blackhawks also confirmed this later, with a release that indicated the following from team physician Dr. Michael Terry:
“Blackhawks forward Connor Bedard underwent successful surgery to repair his fractured jaw at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and we expect him to be out of the lineup for appoximately 6-8 weeks.”
Bedard was injured in Friday’s loss to the New Jersey Devils when Brendan Smith hit him as he skated into the zone with the puck. The play was not dirty, and Nick Foligno would engage in fisticuffs with Smith later–and also be injured.
It’s not great news for the Blackhawks or Bedard, but if this team has shown anything, it’s the resolve to move forward.
Connor Bedard Still Tops in All Statistical Categories for the Hawks
Bedard still leads in goals, assists, and points, but it’s likely that Jason Dickinson will overtake him in goals sooner rather than later, notching his 14th of the season.
Where things become interesting is what team will Bedar return to if the recovery time goes a full eight weeks? The NHL trade deadline is Friday March 8 and the Blackhawks can go a number of different ways with what to do.
Obviously, they are trying to have great positioning to pick high in the 2024 draft. They’re on their way to that, too. Might general manager Kyle Davidson decide to keep certain players? Will a Dickinson or Mrazek be kept for another one or two years?
A rebuild looks different for every team–there isn’t one correct way to do it as evidenced by several teams in the league. But losing Bedard for up to two months could potentially change some of Davidson’s plans.
Or maybe not. More will be known today as the Blackhawks will be likely to announce specifics, but it’s certainly not the news fans, Connor Bedard, the team, or his teammates want to hear.
This team has fought through adversity all season long, surprising many in the process. Now let’s see if there’s a domino effect as a result.