Jonathan Toews not happy with moves Blackhawks have made
Jonathan Toews at age 34 years old and in the last year of his deal, isn’t fond of waiting around for a lengthy rebuild the Chicago Blackhawks are more than likely going to go through. He spoke on the entire situation with The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus and said, “At the end of the day, we’re talking about a five-plus-year process, according to Kyle.”
Kyle Davidson came in and seemingly cleaned house to get a start on the rebuild. It started at the trade deadline when Marc-Andre Fleury and Brandon Hagel were dealt. The main topic of conversation in the offseason has been the trades involving Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach. A breakdown of this magnitude could very well last longer than five year as we have a recent example of a decade of darkness from the Buffalo Sabres when they went and did the same thing.
It was one thing trading Fleury since the team was out of it and he was in the final year of his contract, but it was another for Toews to see the other three get dealt. Toews said, “You have a guy like Alex DeBrincat who was under Kaner’s wing. And I like to think that Kirby (Dach) and I had a bond in some ways, too. And out they go, out the door.”
Toews is a competitor and though he is on the back-half of his career, it doesn’t appear as though he is happy not getting the chance to compete again. Of his 14 NHL seasons, he has been a part of 10 playoff teams and three Stanley Cup teams and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2010.
Toews controls his future with the Blackhawks
The Blackhawks did about as much as they could do as the remaining three strong veteran players all have full no-move clauses (Toews, Patrick Kane, and Seth Jones). It would be unlikely Chicago moves on from Jones right after signing him to a long extension, but Toews and Kane can be on their way out to a competitor if they so choose.
Kane may stick around and see who the true competitors are as the season unfolds, but Toews could go to the Blackhawks and ask for a trade himself or let them know of his intentions. Chicago will have to retain a big chunk of Toews’ salary, as he is not the $10.5 million player he once was and no competitor can fit him under the salary cap.
A key quote to take notice of is:
“So that part of it doesn’t sound appealing to me at all,” said Toews on the long rebuilding situation. “I can’t speak for (Kane), but I definitely feel that the amount of turnover our team has gone through every single year these past three or four years, that’s where it gets really, really draining. And exhausting.”
If the Blackhawks aren’t able to find a trade partner for Toews, you can be sure that he will hit free agency in 2023 and join a contending team on a short-term, low AAV deal.