Jun 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks centerJonathan Toews
(19) kisses the Stanley Cup trophy during the 2015 Stanley Cup championship rally at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
No. 2: Jonathan Toews
Jonathan Toews lands at No. 2 on our list, and in any other conversation, No. 2 just wouldn’t do for him.
However, on this list, Toews joins a quartet of men who have built their legacy, and now enjoy retirement. For No. 19, the work is still unfinished.
Already, Toews has accomplished things no other player on this list has. Three Stanley Cup rings, all as captain. A Conn Smythe Trophy.
Add in a Selke Trophy, and four All-Star team selections, and Toews is already thought to be a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.
Toews’ accomplishments build him up to be one of the best hockey players alive, and watching him play the game does not tell a different story. In fact, anyone who has watched Toews grow with the Blackhawks over the years knows that he is a model of consistency, leadership and professionalism.
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Though Toews has arguably the best supporting cast of any Blackhawks captain on this list, it also adds to his already-growing legend. The ability to rally all of the Blackhawks’ troops, many with a background of success on their own, is an ability possessed by few, perhaps none other than the Blackhawks captain.
Toews has been, and will always be, a leader. He is the fourth-youngest captain of all time; he was honored with the “C” the fastest in NHL history, as far as games player are concerned. At the international level, he has done more of the same with Team Canada, with gold medals aplenty at the junior, World Cup and Olympic levels. He is the youngest member of the Triple Gold Club, and only one of six players to win the Stanley Cup and Olympic Gold in the same season. Two (Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook) were on the same teams as Toews when they accomplished that.
Not only is Toews undoubtedly the best leader in the NHL, he is the best leader in professional sports today. At this pace, it is not a question of if, only when he will rise up and become the Chicago Blackhawks’ best leader of all time.
Next: No. 1: Chris Chelios
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