As per a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, Jonathan Toews is seemingly saying goodbye to the Chicago Blackhawks and the team’s fans, even if he’s not quite ready to confirm his NHL career is over. Heading into the final few games where he intends to soak in the adoration of fans who have been thankful to be a part of his 15-season journey with the team, Toews isn’t ready to call it quits and it sounds like this season come to an end is the just the end of a chapter. There’s more of his story to write.
The 34-year-old center is an unrestricted free agent this summer and he thinks he could be playing elsewhere next season. Ben Pope writes that Toews has only said, ‘‘For myself, I’m taking it as if these are my last games in Chicago.” He has not said these are the last games of his career.
To deem it his farewell tour, period, might be going too far. He thinks it’s still possible he will return to play somewhere next season, if only because he hasn’t reached the point of deciding whether to retire. But he thoroughly thinks this week marks the end of his tenure with the Hawks.
Will Another Team Want to Sign Toews?
When this season is over, there will be teams looking at Toews if he’s interested in continuing his on-ice career. But, the level of interest will likely depend on his ask or his priorities heading into another year. Is he looking to sign a one-year deal with a contender? Does he want to play closer to home? Is he looking for a certain role and a certain amount of ice time? Meanwhile, of those teams Toews might consider, how many will want to take a chance on a player who has missed far more games than he’s played the last couple of seasons?
The fit will have to be right and it’s hard to know where that will be and what a team who takes a chance that Toews can stay healthy is willing to pay.
Next: Oilers’ Zach Hyman Weighs in on How Good Connor McDavid Is
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