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By this point, everyone who follows hockey to even a casual degree knows that the Chicago Blackhawks are rebuilding. The only player left on their roster from their three-time Stanley Cup-winning dynasty is captain Jonathan Toews.
However, it sounds as though his time with the Blackhawks is winding down as well.
Toews hasn’t played since late January, and last month he announced he was stepping away from the team to deal with the effects of long COVID. He also missed the 2020-21 season with Chronic Immune Response Syndrome.
On Tuesday, he skated with the team for the first since January and spoke about his future.
“It’s definitely special for me,” the 34-year-old said. “Regardless of what happens in the future this summer, it’s definitely on my mind that this could be my last few weeks here in Chicago as a Blackhawk, and so that’s definitely very important for me to just go out there and enjoy the game and just kind of soak it in and just really appreciate everything I’ve been able to be a part of here in Chicago and show my appreciation to the fans as well.”
Could Toews Look To Sign Elsewhere?
Toews will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. It remains to be seen whether he’ll hang it up or look to sign a deal elsewhere over the summer.
There’s no denying that the center has his best days behind him, but that isn’t to say he couldn’t make an impact.
In 46 games this season, Toews has put up 14 goals, and 14 assists for 28 points. His possession numbers aren’t what they once were — he has a Corsi for % of 48.5; that’s a career low.
That said, Toews could be a great addition to a team looking to add depth next season. He’d make a solid locker-room presence and his postseason experience would be a major help for a younger team. He might even be available at a bargain price too. He’d be a great fit for a team like the Ottawa Senators.
Toews Gave His Take On The Kane Trade
While Toews’ future remains up in the air, he gave his perspective on the deal that sent his long-time teammate Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers. It was the first time the Blackhawks captain has commented on the blockbuster deal.
“I would say, for myself, personally, probably, I was definitely shocked,” Toews said. “The possibility was there for a while, but, yeah, ‘It’s not actually going to happen,’ you know? You just can’t see a guy like him in another jersey.
Toews explained that while the trade surprised him, he seemed happy for his old teammate.
“All of a sudden, you see him in a New York Rangers jersey. It kind of looks good on him, to be honest with you. I hate to say that. Just happy to see him enjoy himself playing with some really good players and being reunited with a guy like ‘Breadman’ (Artemi Panarin).
“‘Kaner’ is such a competitor that it’s going to feel good for him to go out there and play some meaningful games in the playoffs and play on the big stage.”
Unfortunately for Toews, he won’t but playing the Stanley Cup playoffs like his old buddy “Kaner,” but hey, if he’s feeling up to it, there’s always next year.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle