Tyler Johnson Out 3 Months, Connor Murphy In Concussion Protocol

The Blackhawks made three injury announcements on Friday. The least significant is Juhjar Khaira missed practice and is ill (not COVID).

After leaving Thursday night’s game in Washington early in the second period, defenseman Connor Murphy has been placed in concussion protocol. The length of his stay there is, as always, unknown. But losing Murphy, one of the Hawks’ top three defensemen, is significant.

The biggest news is forward Tyler Johnson will miss the three months because of his neck injury. Johnson had the same procedure Jack Eichel did, but the prognosis is reportedly decent.

Math tells us Johnson being out three months means (counts on fingers) his earliest likely return is early March. By that time, the Blackhawks will either be making a courageous playoff push or be looking to their future.

29 thoughts on “Tyler Johnson Out 3 Months, Connor Murphy In Concussion Protocol

  • December 3, 2021 at 1:15 pm

    Murphy has been incredibly ordinary this season. Losing him for awhile won’t hurt the team. There are many young d-men that can take his place.

  • December 3, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    Hopefully Stillman or deHaan is good to go next game and can slide into Murphy’s spot

    Too bad about TJ but not unexpected given the circumstances – him not getting any better in weeks

  • December 3, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    And here endeth the Tyler Johnson Era. He won’t be back with the Hawks. Very sorry to see it. When he is on his game that fast paced fast twitched style of play is exactly what this team could use.

  • December 3, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    I was not a fan of the T. Johnson acquisition. The team had Pius Suter. However, I never wish harm to any player. He will likely go, as Tim W. said, to another team. I hope he recovers fully.
    Murphy is a big loss. I’m not sure how soon Stillman will be back and de Haan is struggling with injuries. Kalynuk will get more playing time and, hopefully, I. Phillips will get a call up. I liked his play while he was up with the team. Phillips and Ian Mitchell are the only defensemen, at Rockford with a positive +/-.
    J. Slavin may be that diamond in the rough that is needed for the team. He has the size, speed, and two way play that, I believe, most Blackhawks fans like to see.
    Reichel is in concussion protocols. Oddly enough, Evan Barratt has stepped up his game. I’ll keep an eye on his play. I do wish the IceHogs would post FO%. That is the “elephant in the room” with the Blackhawks centermen. Dach’s game against Washington was okay. Borgstrom was abhorrent. Toews was Toews…which is always solid. Strome was adequate in limited FO time. The team desperately needs a 2nd line center with faceoff skills. Actually, with Toews production so low, the team needs a 1st and 2nd line center that can be above 50% at the FO. Maybe someone with contract savy will answer this question. Is Toews able to restructure his contract so as to benefit the team? Maybe he can be offered a piece of the Blackhawks organ-I-zation? Same for Kane while we’re at it. The team needs to free up monies to acquire better talent. I would like to see Toews and Kane finish their careers in the Indian Head Sweater. That may be me being a homer, but they are synonymous with those 3 Stanley Cups.
    Let’s see what Coach King comes up with for Saturday’s game against the NY Rangers.

  • December 3, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    Tim: TJ is not going anywhere. He is signed for 2 more years at $5M each (CAP hit).

    Edman68: Cannot restructure contracts.

  • December 3, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Edman68, Toews is always solid???? I was going to respectfully take issue with that statement but I read your post all the way through where you do acknowledge that he is not playing at a 1st or 2nd Line Center,s Level and his contract should voluntarily be restructured. He has some type of continuing medical condition that has diminished his strength and conditioning that is going to have to be dealt with for his own sake. It is very sad but not as sad as rolling him out there just for the purpose of faceoffs.

  • December 3, 2021 at 6:50 pm

    Oh for the love of all that is holy can we please stop with the Toews bashing? The Hawks do not have anyone on the roster who is better than Toews at center right now, period.

    Dach isn’t.

    Strome isn’t.

    Khaira isn’t.

    Carpenter isn’t.

    Borgstrom isn’t.

    Who am I missing? Why the hell does it matter that Toews is not performing up to his contract if there is no one on the roster who can play top six minutes at center better? What the hell are we talking about. Quit telling me who isn’t doing the job and tell me who is, because I ain’t seeing anyone making it happen at any center position on this roster right now.

    Yeah Toews is underperforming, so are like six other Hawks. Tell me who isn’t underperformaing and then say why that person should be given the role over Toews. Because I have watched every game so far this year and as bad as Toews has looked, no one has looked any better.

    So please enlighten me, who is the supposed savior to the Hawks center woes who is being ignored at the expense of Captain serious?

  • December 3, 2021 at 8:40 pm

    You know what the small problem is ,it’s that everyone else on the roster is not eating up 10.5 Million of the team,s salary cap. And we are all supposed to not highlight the Captain and highest paid player for having 0 Goals and 8 Assists while being pushed around and physically outperformed because all the other Centers are playing bad too???? That makes no sense. We have all highlighted the poor play of the other Centers each and every game. Toews is mentioned the same as Dach,Strome,Borgstrom,Carpenter,and anyone else who has not performed well or driven the play. His play is being identified as it happens. If you as a fan want to remain silent because all of our Centers are underperformed that is your privilege as a fan but leave the rest of us to vent about what is happening.

  • December 3, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    Tim I agree with you. The only thing Toews is doing is winning FO’s. Since Slavin looked good, and I hope he can continue, why not try him between Kane and Hagel. Hagel and Slavin play all out and that might get Kane more chances. Also, off the subject, I would like to say that Gus has been excellent since his talk with King and Crawford. He may be the best d-man on the team at present.

  • December 3, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    Paul T – I like Slavin too but to put him with Kane based on 1 good game albiet playing 10 minutes against low QOC is not going to happen nor should it

    Let him earn it over several games and increased responsibility – let him work his way up – frankly if he becomes a solid third liner this year that’s a huge win for the Hawks

    I’m just happy he’s replaced RJ for now never mind being Kane’s centre

  • December 3, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    Wrap, Absolutely right my friend. I will be the happiest Hawk supporter out there if at the end of this season we have put together a kick ass 3rd line that can play some productive hockey. If we can somehow get a couple of top tier Centers and an offensive forward or 2, Slavin and Hagel would be on the 3rd line with a Sam Bennett type of Center between them.

  • December 4, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Honestly I don’t understand why the 10.5 mil is an issue. Is the weight of Toews pocketbook preventing Dach, Strome, Borgstrom and the rest from being better players? Every time Toews turns around is his wallet smacking his teammates in the face? The GM who signed him to that contract is gone. The CBA prevents a player from changing the terms of the contract. There is literally NOTHING that Toews can do to change that contract. The contract isn’t going anywhere and it can’t be altered. So forget about it.

    Let’s throw the contracts out for the moment and accept that reality, what do the Hawks do to fix their problems at center right now? Bitching about Toews not scoring a goal doesn’t fix anything if there is no one on the Hawks roster that can be brought in to do better. How do the Hawks increase their production at center? Can the Hawks do that? What would it take for the Hawks to do that? Should they make a trade? Do they have the assets for that? What is preventing them from doing that? Should they bother or simply start the rebuild now? That is the discussion that we should be having.

    Maybe there isn’t a solution, maybe the reality is that the Hawks have too many underperforming players to matter right now. I don’t know, what do you think?

    I am not blind to Toews shortcomings, nor do I forgive it, but damn if I am going to stand idly by and listen to people just bitch and offer no useful discourse or solutions. If you don’t have anything more insightful to say than “this guy sucks,” change your name Name to “Eyore” and whine about how bad everything is. No one will stop you. But If you get to be Eyore and have a raincloud follow you everywhere you go, I get to play “Pollyanna” and blow sunshine up everyones asses too.

  • December 4, 2021 at 12:23 am

    To be clear, there is a distinct difference about Toews contract and Searbrooks with the Hawks. In the final year or so of Seabrooks deal, one could make the case that there were six better defenseman than he on the roster and playing Seabs over one of them would make the team worse. That claim can’t be made about Toews and the centers on the Hawks current roster. Toews is still clearly performing better than his peers. If one thinks that someone deserves more ice time than Toews, make your case why Toews should be benched or demoted. I would like to have that debate. But simply pointing out that Toews makes 10.5 mil means absolutely nothing by itself.

  • December 4, 2021 at 1:52 am

    What’s preventing the Hawks from making moves? They have no salary cap space and an unhealthy Center who has a no movement clause to the end of his contract.. Performing better than his peers? Who is the other NHL Center on the Chicago Blackhawks that you are comparing him to? Is it Kirby Dach that you are happy that he is better than? No, it must be the well respected NHL Center Dylan Strome that can’t earn more than a few games at a time and can’t skate that you are comparing him to. If not them you must be comparing him to NHL veteran Center H. Borgstrom or maybe Swiss army knife part time Center Ryan Carpenter. The Hawks have no legitimate contributing NHL Centers at this time and that is the point. If you can find a comparable 1st line or even 2nd line Center in the league that is laying 0s across the Stat line every night and tapping out at key times of games please point him out. The difference in Seabrooks and Toews Contract was about 3.5 Million a year and besides that we had other contributing Defensemen on the roster. If people don’t like the critiques of Toews, don’t read the posts. Anyone on this site knows who is going to point out certain players so it’s not difficult to just scroll past.

  • December 4, 2021 at 7:22 am

    Tim W- well said… Toews is still outplaying all other Hawk C’s… I guess the “half full crowd” looks at that as a positive. And the Half empty crowd- can look at that and say- that is why the Hawks are Not very good… If C has no goals and is making $10M- and he is your “best” C…. u got problems!!!

  • December 4, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Should Toews ask to the league to cut 75% off is salary to make cap space to get another center ? Off course it’s impossible and everybody knows the biggest problem with those big contracts are the owners. Iff they get a contract at X $ and bonus X$ at the beginning of the next year then the teams would be able to compete equally. But the owners are rich and want to overpay some players in case they can get the best super players with 75 goals 143 assist and feel they had that player at cheap price at 10millions / year when they sign him for 10 years ….hahaha
    Owners are shooting themself in the feet’s often and then they cry like baby’s.
    Imagine the owner having that Evender Kane salary in their books..hahahaha

  • December 4, 2021 at 10:42 am


    1) I’m not “happy” that none of the Chicago centers are as good as Toews. Never said that I was. I’m simply stating a measurable fact that moving Toews out of the lineup leaves a hole that currently can not be filled by anyone else on the roster.

    2) You suggested in a previous post that the Hawks should replace Toews in the lineup (Shut him down) or move him to a fourth line role. I am specifically asking you how does that make this team better right now considering that no one on the is effective as he is, even with his diminished production?

    If Dach or Strome or Borgstrom were producing I would agree that the time is now to have Toews take a lesser role. But they aren’t. That is all I have stated.

    Finally, Toews did not create the cap situation or the Hawks roster, why is he being targeted by you for it? The person responsible for it no longer works for the team, he was removed. So if Toews contract is your issue, then maybe Bowman should be your target, but you got what you wanted with his removal, and you can’t complain about an Interim GM with a couple months under his belt who wasn’t responsible for this mess, so you have to lash out at a former great player who is no longer that great.


    Fine, I will take your advise, you won’t hear from me no more, I’m wasting keystrokes here.

  • December 4, 2021 at 10:42 am


  • December 4, 2021 at 11:55 am

    Come on Miroslav don`t you go anywhere !
    “Tim broken record W” needs to lift the needle off off the album and start a deep breathing class , the man`s temples must be just a popping from his forehead lol .
    Yeah Toews has not been his stellar self and is paid good money but ……what can we do??? ….oh yeah nothing .
    Ripping the situation fixes zero ! I do miss the days of Toews carrying our proud Hawks and our Olympic team and our World Jr’s …. Triple Gold Club Spokesman …Enough said .

  • December 4, 2021 at 11:57 am

    On a Positive note

    Antti Saarela- had nice game yesterday in Liiga… 1st period Hat trick- excellent release, sturdy player around 200lbs / 5’11… good skater, not afraid of contact.

    Me thinks – he is better than majority of Forwards skating w Hawks now

  • December 4, 2021 at 12:23 pm


    I wonder if Davidson knows this?

    cuz he more than likely is than the majority of forwards w Hawks now

  • December 4, 2021 at 12:31 pm

    Miroslav lots of time for Dach to develop yet, there is Reichel and C. Dach both playing the middle while developing, one of them may develop into a top 6 C yet.
    See Kucherov back on ice with Tampa, they will need some maneuvering to fit his caphit, maybe Shaws caphit could help them if he was put on roster before Kucherov brought back, them place him on ltir and his and Seabrooks hits make room for Kucherov to come off ltir. No way Point or Cirelli be available, but maybe a Colton Ross who can play middle 6 C or they have a number of C’s in minors who they may like that can fill a middle 6 spot. Jack Finley a 6’6″ shutdown guy who wins alot of fos or something or one of the others for Shaws caphit.

    No.1 C either acquire through trade like Jones or fa like Taveres . Horvat was mentioned as somebody heading to ufa in another year and Canucks are known as not being big spenders, may be others too. If not that, then win the lottery and draft a Shane Wright this year or Connor Bedard next year, then hope they live up to their billings.

  • December 4, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Like Saarela’s style, loves to hit and go to tough areas, mentioned him on different occasions, but his consistency has been very erratic, given opportunities to play top 6 roles with his Finnish club and just hasn’t run with it, hope this streak is him really finding his game.

  • December 4, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Ian- I wouldn’t mind that Michkov kid from Russia- 2023 draft… Kid lit up MHL… KHL- 5 points in 13 games since being brought up… NOT bad in KHL- for 16 year old- undersized forward.

    Can u imagine playing in 2nd best Hockey league in world at 16 yrs old and only 5’9″?

    gotta be a little scary- and producing this early- speaks volumes for the kids/IQ/ability

  • December 4, 2021 at 1:01 pm

    Ian, Very solid Center suggestions. Ian Mitchell is back tonight. I really hope he shines right away and makes it difficult to send him back. We will see.

  • December 4, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    Would have liked to see Phillips back but let’s see if Mitchell has learned anything. Didn’t look too sharp the last time I seen him play last week.

  • December 4, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    Hammer, Yes you’re right. I watched a few periods of him and was a little let down. Given those AHL games and some of the nonsense that goes on you would think if a guy was given the opportunity he would do everything in his power to not be sent back. Hopefully it’s not out of Mitchell,s hands and he is capable of doing it.

  • December 4, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    TimW would be really good to see these young guys Mitchell, Kalynuk or whoever is up with them, really take that next step and assert themselves and make Gus, Dehaan expendable before tdl, for picks in the draft.

  • December 4, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    Agree with the sentiment of hoping Mitchell has progressed- Slavin provided a bit of a spark being better than RJ – if Mitchell is better than Gus or de Haan that also would provide a spark

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