Nov 29, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) takes the ice to face the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Stars 2-1 in the overtime shootout. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
In 2006 the Chicago Blackhawks drafted a kid from Winnipeg, Manitoba with the third overall pick. The 18 year old kid was Jonathan Toews. Did you think the Blackhawks know they would get the greatest Captain ever? Toews was named Captain of the Blackhawks on July 18th 2008. He was third youngest Captain ever to be named in the history of the NHL. He was named Captain in his second season at the age of 20 years old. A 20 year old kid being named Captain one of the original six hockey teams is an astounding feat. Most people are not mature enough to handle the responsibilities of being a college student let alone the Captain of the Chicago Blackhawks. Most people are not Jonathan Toews.Toews has been a mature Captain on and off the ice. His counterpart Patrick Kane had been a well known party boy until recently. Kane was often featured in the tabloids for his off the ice exploits. Toews has been given the name “Captain Serious” because of his serious approach to his title and play on the Blackhawks. Toews name has never been featured in a questionable story and you will never find his name in one.
Toews has gone above and beyond on what a Captain should be. In Toews third season with the Blackhawks, he lead the Blackhawks to its first Stanley Cup in 49 years. Toews was awarded the Conn Symthe Trophy because of his impressive play during the playoffs. In addition to his impressive play during the playoffs, Toews endured himself to the fans by going to Marian Hossa before game six. He instructed Hossa that if they won the Cup that night, he would get the Cup after him. Hossa has been to two Stanley Cup Finals in row losing both before the 2009-10 seasons. Toews was so classy and respectful that he was going to reward a great veteran who had not experienced the ultimate victory.
After two less than stellar seasons, the Blackhawks would go onto have a magical season in 2012-13. The Blackhawks went 21-0-3 before losing to the Colorado Avalanche on March 9th 2013. The Blackhawks set the record with 23 NHL games with at least one point. The Blackhawks would go onto to win their second Stanley Cup in five years. In pivotal game four Toews would suffer a head injury, he would have to leave the game and would not be allowed to return. With clearance from the medical staff, he remained on the bench with his teammates. He was the first person on the ice to congratulate his teammates after the victory. He would be there for his teammates even though he could play with them.
Before game 6, Toews would again to go veteran players such as Michal Handzus, Michal Rozsival, and Jamal Mayers saying they would get the Cup after him. Toews had the foresight and class to honor players who has been in the league a long time without winning a Stanley Cup. In the series clincher, Toews would put the Blackhawks on the board with a much needed goal.
In a recent interview Jamal Mayers told a story about Toews. Mayers had been a part time player with the Blackhawks in 2011-12 and 2012-13. In the 2012-13 season, Mayers did not meet the NHL requirements for his name to be engraved on the Cup. Mayers has been in the league for 16 seasons. The Blackhawks would petition the league to have Mayers name on the cup. Mayers told a story that exemplifies what type of leader Toews is. Toews went to General Manager Stan Bowman and stated, “They don’t have to put Captain on the Cup if it means helps getting Jammer’s name on it. If that helps make room, I’ll do it.” Bowman would tell him it wouldn’t come to that.
Toews is so selfless in that he would have his title, an honor bestowed upon by the Chicago Blackhawks, left off the Stanley Cup for a fellow teammate’s name to be placed on the Cup. Toews thinks of the team and his teammates first and himself second. He is a leader and will do anything for his teammates. That story by Mayers highlights that statement so well. Mayers went onto to say that Mark Messier was the Captain he looked up to when he entered the league. Mayers continued on to say “Over time, I don’t think there’s going to be a difference when you’re discussing a true leader whether it’s Messier or Jonathan Toews.” The statements by Mayers should give any NHL fan the chills let alone a Blackhawks fan. Quotes courtesy of ESPNchicago.com
The examples listed in this article do not give Toews enough credit. He is truly a great leader and a great Captain for the Blackhawks. There are tons of examples of how he is such a great leader. People are going to say what about Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Henrik Zetterberg, and etc? Those are all great players and good captains, but they are not Toews. Toews has something other players do not and it’s called the “IT” factor.
The scary thing about Toews is that he is only 25 years old and he can only get BETTER! In my mind Jonathan Toews is the GREATEST CAPTAIN EVER!