It’s not anything new, but on Friday morning, Jonathan Toews again proved that he is someone every young hockey player should look up to.
Toews and Team Canada defeated their bitter rivals from the United States 1-0, sending the USA to the bronze medal game, while Canada will try for the Gold on Sunday morning.
Lots of teammates represented each squad: The St. Louis Blues had the likes of T.J. Oshie on the American side, with Alex Pietrangelo and Jay Bouwmeester wearing red and white. Four of the Chicago Blackhawks’ 10 olympians were in the game, with Toews, Patrick Sharp, and Duncan Keith suiting up for Canada, while Patrick Kane was the lone American from the ‘Hawks roster.
After the game, Kane, nearly in tears from disappointment, went through the traditional handshake line. After shaking hands with the rest of the team, including brief talks with Sharp and Keith, he met Toews, who was nearly last in line. The handshakes ground to a halt as one of the NHL’s most dynamic offensive duos embraced, with Toews speaking a few words in Kane’s ear, before moving on.
The second example of sportsmanship happened just minutes later, as the teams left the ice. A dejected-looking Kane was giving a television interview, when the Canadians started to file in to their dressing room behind him. Toews walked an extra couple of feet, and patted Kane on the back, before silently walking into the room.
If those moves of sportsmanship in themselves weren’t impressive enough, they come just days after Toews and Kane fired shots at each other in radio interviews. Kane, when asked about Phil Kessel‘s play in the Olympic tournament, said he’s “the best player I’ve ever played with”. That prompted Toews to make this snarky reply when asked about playing against Kane in the semi-final game:
“Yeah, he’s pretty good, but that Kessel guy is even better.”
Now that the two Blackhawks forwards have made it over that rocky road, they can both focus on coming home with a medal. Jonathan Toews again stole the spotlight with his selfless actions, showing that young players everywhere should keep him in mind when playing the great game of hockey. The Chicago Blackhawks and Team Canada should be extremely proud to have Toews on their roster, as he embodies the sportsmanship that makes the game of hockey so precious.