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Toews Voices Frustration With Direction of Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews says he’s not up for being part of a five-year rebuild and seemed to tease a possible move out of Chicago.

After selling several valuable assets within the past year for help in the future, the Chicago Blackhawks have made it very clear they are entering a rebuild, and captain Jonathan Toews is not happy about it.

Related: Huberdeau Unhappy About Way Trade Went Down in Florida

Toews, 34, has voiced his displeasure with the overall direction of the Blackhawks in the past, but seemed to change his tune after former general manager Stan Bowman chose to try and give his core group one more shot at a Stanley Cup after bringing in both Seth Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury last offseason. Unfortunately, their season turned out to be a major disaster, and new general manager Kyle Davidson has wasted no time putting his stamp on the team.

Jonathan Toews Chicgao Blackhawks Upper Deck
Jonathan Toews Chicgao Blackhawks Upper Deck

While it is clear what Davidson is trying to do, several of his moves have been questioned, none more so than his recent decision to trade Alex DeBrincat. The 24-year-old, who has scored north of 40 goals twice in his five NHL seasons, seems like the type of player you would want to begin a rebuild around. Davidson had different ideas, however, as he chose to ship him to the Ottawa Senators for the seventh and 39th selections at the 2022 draft, as well as a third-round pick in 2024. This move, as well as both the Kirby Dach and Brandon Hagel deals, have Toews quite upset.

“At the end of the day, we’re talking about a five-plus-year process, according to Kyle,” Toews said to Mark Lazerus of The Athletic. “So that part of it doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. I can’t speak for (Patrick Kane), but I definitely feel that the amount of turnover our team has gone through every single year these last three or four years, that’s where it gets really, really draining. And exhausting.”

As far as Toews future is concerned, he has just one season remaining on a deal that carries a massive cap hit of $10.5 million. Given that cap hit, it is unlikely a team would be willing to make a move for him unless the Blackhawks retained a good chunk of his salary, as he really struggled this past season with 12 goals and 37 points in 71 games. While it is clear he is unhappy, however, he didn’t want to speculate much when it comes to his future.

“You have a guy like Alex DeBrincat who was under Kaner’s wing. And I like to think that Kirby and I had that bond in some ways, too. And out they go, out the door,” Toews said. “Over and over, we’ve seen that turnover. I’m learning to be more patient, but there’s no doubt that timeline is pretty daunting. … I’m not going to sit here and say what I’m going to do or what the future holds for me, because I really don’t know.

“When we traded Hags, and then Cat and Kirby, reality really set in that, OK, this is where we’re at, and they’ve got to really focus on the future. And it’s just unfortunate that it’s come to that. But it is what it is. So much of that stuff has been out of my control for quite some time, and it’s a weird place to be in as a captain.”

Not often do you hear a player speak out against his management like this, but if one player in the league can, it’s Toews. Not only has the 34-year-old been regarded as the games best leader for over a decade now, but he has three Stanley Cup rings to back him up. As mentioned, a trade this season feels unlikely, but given these comments it seems extremely unlikely he looks to sign an extension with the Blackhawks.

Next: Huberdeau, Weegar Open to Signing Long-Term Deals with Flames

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