It wasn’t too many years ago that Jonathan Toews and his Chicago Blackhawks were at the top of the league’s pecking order, but it somehow also seems like the team’s rebuild has dragged on for too long with no end in sight. It’s an arduous process that’s called Toews’ (and Patrick Kane’s) future with the team into question, as the Blackhawks legends are just one year away from the expiration of their contracts and unrestricted free agency. Speaking with The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus, Toews says he “really doesn’t know” what the future holds for him and said the idea of a lengthy rebuild “[didn’t] sound appealing.”
In his interview, Toews spoke frankly about Chicago’s moves since the turn of the calendar year, specifically referencing the team’s trades involving Brandon Hagel, Alex DeBrincat, and Kirby Dach. Calling it “unfortunate that it’s come to that,” Toews especially named Dach as a player he felt he had under his wing and had developed a good mentor relationship with.
On a more positive note for Toews and Blackhawks fans, he spoke highly of the team’s expected approach under new head coach Luke Richardson. If he isn’t approached about a trade prior to the season (he does still have a full no-movement clause), he said he’s “really excited” to play under Richardson and his hard-working approach.
Regardless, this is a significant crossroads for Toews and the Blackhawks organization. Considering his declining production and recent health issues, it could very well be that this is simply Toews’ last season playing in the NHL. Toews had just 37 points in 71 games last season, and even his half-retained cap hit of $5.25MM might be too hard to stomach for most interested teams. If Toews plans to either retire or sign elsewhere in free agency, Chicago risks ill-affordable poor asset management by not getting potential trade value in return for Toews.
With that said, it’s nearly impossible to predict when Toews’ trade value would be highest. Does Chicago bank on Toews having a rebound year, allowing them to get a higher return closer to the trade deadline, or do they trade him prior to the season in anticipation of declining value? It’s a delicate, tricky situation as all parties are concerned.
He should be traded ! One last chance at the Cup
37 points in 71 games
Current Half retention cap hit of $5.25mil
Trade deadline move more than likely
Who would possibly want him? Last season he was strictly at 3rd line production. He’s ceased to be a physical presence. His possession metrics are nosediving. He’s 34 years old and a safe bet to decline further, and the only part of his game that’s still first-class is winning faceoffs.
Even if you could move him (which, since he’s got a full no-movement clause, you can’t without his say so), and even retaining half his salary, that’s still a serious overpay for what he still brings to the table.
And — by the bye — excuse me, Mr. Toews? You’re unhappy about the direction the Blackhawks are taking? Look in a bloody mirror. You’ve been grossly overpaid for seven seasons now. You signed for the most money given to a hockey player in NHL history, and you’ve never been that good. And right now, you’re barely worth a third of what you’re making. That deadly, unmovable, unbuyoutable contract canceled out Chicago’s ability to get (or retain) a genuine elite star these last several years.
lol he did win 3 Stanley cups ……. Maybe ask why the Team fired Dale Tallon when you look at the roster he only acquired Towes Kane Sharp Bickel Hjalmersom Keith Seabrook Campbell Hossa Bolland ……. But i mean Scotty Bowman won all those rings in Detroit so we had to hire his son who really just made bad move after bad move over 10 years but yet stayed cause his dad was up there but it’s Towes fault
Not a great player anymore according to the stat sheet, the only positive there is hes a good face off man so that and his experience is worth something come deadline day
Solid tantrum. Well played.
Not his fault Stan Bowman is a moron…
Toews should be grateful for three rings! In the last couple seasons including the one he took off he’s been a whiner! And not only that but he’s trending the wrong way statistically. Shut up and play or retire!!!!!!
Another solid tantrum! You guys are rolling today.
To be fair man, Toews had a huge part in winning those 3 cups. Will never forgot games 5, 6, and 7 of the WCF in 2015…think he had four goals and three assists. That wasn’t even the cup when he won Conn Smyth.
Toews is toast. I doubt anyone wants him.
One More JAGR
The Pens will probably snatch him up at some point. They love overpaying for past glory of geriatric vets.
I think thats more of a burkie thing that hextall soaked up aswell
Kane to the Rangers
It’s always sad when once great players are not the same. He should call it quits after this season and go out before it gets even worse.
The Mistake of Giving Eugene Melnyk a Liver Transplant
I know it feels like a lifetime ago, but he did put up 81 points in 2018-2019. The best statistical year of his career! So a bounce back season to respectability is not completely impossible. I mean, I don’t expect it. But seriously, look back at those numbers and tell me that you didn’t expect them to be from 2013-2014!
Well, no, it’s not COMPLETELY impossible. We’ve all seen has-beens and never-weres come out of nowhere to have a miracle season.
But seriously. Do you EXPECT Toews to do so? And even if the one-tenth of one percent chance comes up, and he does rack up 80 points again, do you think he’s worth $10.5 MM AAV? More than Ovechkin, or Gaudreau, or Barkov, or Vasilevskiy, or Makar, or Crosby?
Bingo! Nazem Kadri!!
Toews was a lot better later in the season after missing the season before. Is he what he once was, no. But he still is a valuable player who can really help a contender. Makes sense for him to be traded at the deadline – he can still help a team.
Sometimes players are people. To say a 38 yr old leaving in twilight is poor “asset management” is honestly very degrading. He was a big part in getting you 3 Stanely Cups, if he leaves cus he wants to keep playing & organization looks like a tire fire that’s his choice but his peak value is a decade back in time. Add in the fact Chicago is getting a late pick in a few years…maybe…if they take half his money. Then there is what 5 teams that (Cgy, NJ, DET, Ott, maybe NYI) that should be variably competitive & can take on cap hit. Trade him if you want but don’t act like trading him or just keeping him are effectively the same thing.
The win now teams are generally up against the cap with pending RFA’s still to go. Toews at half his cap hit would be too much, even if he’s put on waivers.
Think he still has value. Toews was always insanely driven to win. I bet it drives him nuts he has to be the leader of a team that is not even trying to win now. That is just not the role he is capable of playing. I bet if he goes to a real contender, plus he doesn’t have to carry the burden of being the captain, his numbers will improve a lot, as will the two-way shut-down game.
It’s not like 2014 when Wayne Gretzky said he was the second best player in hockey, but think he’ll have real value if he goes to a solid team.