The Chicago Blackhawks have a few different options to center the top line this season. Let’s talk about the four likely options and which makes sense.
Every good team needs a great first-line center. Unfortunately for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2020-21, one thing that hurt them throughout the season was that they were without their top-line center in Jonathan Toews.
This coming season the team has a few different options, and there are a few guys in particular who stand out as potential options to be the top line guy in Chicago. So let’s talk about them, starting with the best option.
Jonathan Toews has been the top guy in Chicago for a long time. He missed the entire last season with an injury, and coming back this season would be the biggest addition to the team.
Jonathan Toews is more than just the team’s best center, he is the team’s best player and leader in the locker room. He is the voice of the team and the face of the franchise. The only thing that might stop Toews from being that top guy in the lineup this season would be the caution of the team’s coaching staff – for good measures.
Toews might be better off spending the season in a second or third line position, and he can slowly work up his icetime to be a top-line player again. The Hawks do not need to overwork Toews this season. They have other talented players that can help out a little and give him just the meaningful minutes the team needs.
If Toews can return this season and play 19 to 20 minutes a night then I guess he will be the topo center again relied upon to win faceoffs and play in all situations, but maybe they can just take it slow to begin the year and slowly work up his stamina.