Jonathan Toews future with rebuilding Blackhawks unclear

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Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews has cleared the NHL’s concussion protocol, coach Derek King said Tuesday.

The veteran center has missed the last 11 games and could return as soon as Thursday night against the visiting Edmonton Oilers, depending on how he feels. He last played on Jan. 26.

Also on Tuesday, the team announced that interim GM Kyle Davidson was promoted to the job permanently. His comments from his press conference have certainly raised some questions as to the future of Toews and Patrick Kane.

Jonathan Toews future with Blackhawks

“Jonathan and Patrick are extremely important pieces to the organizations,” Davidson said moments after announcing a rebuild. “They’re definitely going to be brought into the loop. There won’t be any surprises on their end on what we plan on doing with the organization.”

So what will happen to the aging captain of the Chicago Blackhawks? Darren Dreger provided some insights on Tuesday Insider Trading.

“Davidson has declared that the Blackhawks are in a rebuild,” Dreger said. “His next move is to likely have a conversation, perhaps as early as this week, with Kane and Toews’ agent Pat Brisson to start mapping out what the future for these two stars looks like. Is it in Chicago or potentially elsewhere?”

Could Toews be on the move?

Jonathan Toews
Jan 8, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) warms up before a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The big question is whether or not Toews wants to stick around for a rebuild. He did not hide his feelings on the topic as recent as last offseason after Corey Crawford was jettisoned.

“It’s sad. It’s really disappointing. [Crawford] has given so much to this team,” Toews told The Athletic. “I feel he was ready to bring more in the next few years and still be a big part of this group. He had that mindset that he could help this team go deep in the playoffs again, and there’s no doubt that he could.”

The topic then changed to the perception that the Blackhawks were starting a rebuild. It was one that Toews wasn’t too keen on.

“We prepare ourselves to win a Cup for our fans. I’ve never been told that we were going through a rebuild,” Toews explained. “That has never been communicated to me, for that matter. A lot of this comes as a shock because it’s a completely different direction than we expected.”

Toews, 33, has 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) in 43 games this season. The forward has 834 points (349 goals, 485 assists) in 986 career games since being selected by the Blackhawks with the third overall pick of the 2006 NHL Draft.

The three-time Stanley Cup winner missed the entire 2020-21 season with chronic immune response syndrome. He has one year remaining at $10.5 million.

If he wants to go, there will be a team to take him on.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report.