Now the Blackhawks find out just how important Jonathan Toews is
By Jimmy Lynch
The Chicago Blackhawks are entering their training camp without their captain.
Without Jonathan Toews, the Blackhawks will have to be better on all corners of the ice. They are losing their top center, their leading penalty killer, one of their top members on the power play, and their captain.
The Blackhawks have had injuries to key members of their lineup in the past, but none as important as Jonathan Toews. Toews has not missed a game since the 2017-18 season, and now Chicago finds him on their injury reserved list.
Sure having some cap space open during the year will be nice, but not at the cost of a player like Jonathan Toews. He is an invaluable piece in the locker room, even if his offensive play has taken a step back.
Patrick Kane might be the face of the ‘Hawks, but Jonathan Toews is the soul and voice of this team. He has been the leader within the locker room for a long time, and losing him for the foreseeable future hurts this team.
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Losing Brent Seabrook‘s voice hurt the team last year. However, they were still the Blackhawks. Now they will have to reinvent themselves without their captain around. While the core is still present, losing the voice within that core group hurts.
How does this team move forward? The team signed a significant piece in that process yesterday when Dylan Strome re-signed with the Blackhawks. Strome is going to be called upon often to help lead the offensive push in Chicago. While that might not be a recipe for success, it is the best the team has right now.
Also, players like Carl Soderberg need to be effective in the faceoff dot. Toews was such an important piece for the roster everywhere on the ice, so much so that it will take everyone being better to help fill in for him during his absence.
After seeing Dach and Toews have steller post seasons individually, it hurts seeing them both miss time in 2021. Now we will have to see who can rise to the occasion and help lead this team. It was annoying to see Toews fall of the conversation nationally the past few years as being one of the top centers. Now that he is out of the lineup, we will all see just how important he was to this group.