Wrist surgery will keep Blackhawks defenseman Gustav Forsling out for 14 weeks

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 14: Gustav Forsling #42 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Tyler Bertuzzi #59 of the Detroit Red Wings chase the puck in the second period at the United Center on January 14, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – The biggest question when it comes to health for the Blackhawks this offseason deals with the man who they hope will be patrolling the net come October.

Yet Corey Crawford’s timetable for a return remains a mystery, with the goalie himself telling the media that he’s not “100 percent” yet. Meanwhile the team continues to say publicly that they expect the goalie to be ready after an upper body injury cost him most of the 2017-2018 season.

While the Blackhawks wait-and-see with Crawford, they know one guy that’s playing in front of him won’t be around for the beginning of the season.

On Tuesday the Blackhawks announced that defenseman Gustav Forsling will miss 14 weeks after undergoing successful surgery on his right wrist. When the injury occurred was not specifies, but this likely keeps the third-year player out of the Blackhawks lineup for all of training camp and parts of the first month of the season.

A fifth-round pick of the Canucks in 2014, Forsling made his debut with the Blackhawks in 2016 and over the past two years has played in 79 games. He’s got five goals and 13 assists in those contests, with the majority coming this past season when he played in 41 games. During that stretch he had three goals and ten assists, though he was with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs for the rest of the season.

In 18 games there, Forsling had two goals and four assists in the regular season and was along for the IceHogs’ run to the conference finals.

Forsling hoped to contribute right away to the NHL club this season, but he’ll have to wait a bit. At least with the defenseman, they known just how long of a wait they have.