Editorials

NHL Central Division Captains, Ranked Worst To First

By Colin Likas
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) defends against Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the first period at American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Blackhawks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn (14) defends against Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the first period at American Airlines Center. The Stars defeat the Blackhawks 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jun 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: Chicago’s Jonathan Toews

A good captain can be hard to find in the NHL. That might explain why just six guys who were named a team captain prior to 2010 are still leading that same team today (Shane Doan, Zdeno Chara, Sidney Crosby, Toews, Koivu and Alexander Ovechkin). What’s the least bit surprising about that, however, is that Toews is among that group.

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Already the greatest captain in Blackhawks history, Toews just keeps finding new heights to reach. The third-youngest captain in NHL history (behind Landeskog and Crosby) took the role in 2008-09 and has done more than run with it.

Three-time Stanley Cup winner. Three-time All-Star. One-time Selke Trophy and Conn Smythe winner. One of the league’s leading faceoff takers and best defensive centers. Captain Serious.

Toews is all of these things, and he’s just now reaching his prime years. Toews’ steady hand is evident on the ice and within the Blackhawks’ locker room. He’s the voice of reason who always comes up big, either on offense or defense. He’s potted 564 points in 645 regular-season games and added 108 points in 124 postseason tilts.

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Toews has the chance to go down among the NHL’s greatest captains. He will go down as the Blackhawks’ greatest captain until further notice. And he’s definitely the Central Division’s top captain today.

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