Analysis

Jonathan Toews Outlook on Hockey and the Blackhawks Moving Forward

Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings
Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings / Harry How/GettyImages
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Captain Serious has always been a strong leader. His dedication, diligence, and dangles have helped him remain the steady captain steering the metaphorical ship. From the moment he was drafted by the Blackhawks, he was obviously a leader. That voyage he has taken as the Captain of Ship Black Hawk has seen only 4 seasons with records below .500 and 9 straight seasons of making the postseason, 3 of which, I'm sure you're well aware, ended in hoisting Lord Stanley's coveted Cup.

But times have changed for Captain Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks. Of the Stanley Cup core, only Toews and Kane remain. Of the winning tradition established over the first decade of Toews' career, I would be generous to suggest there is even a minute level of "winning tradition" remaining. Through years of former General Manager Stan Bowman delaying the inevitable rebuild, it seems Kyle Davidson is the one fit to see it through.

Jonathan Toews has gone through a lot. He missed an entire year of hockey during the 2020-2021 season due to his struggle with Chronic Infmlammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). As challenging as that was to fight through, he made it back to the ice. His long-awaited return was just in time for the Blackhawks to lose more than ever before in Toews' hall of fame career. It has taken a toll on the captain. The affects of which can be seen in his play and his demeanor both on and off the ice. The man seems worn and almost devoid of hope.

It was these factors that led to statements he made earlier in the season about not really understanding how to lead anymore. His role changed. The young players and prospects he was now rubbing shoulders with were immature and inexperienced compared to the veterans he was immersed with when he began as a rookie. Displaying his competitive edge and hard work outwardly is no longer enough to make the impact the way it used to. "The times they are a-changin'" I think is how the tune goes.

So what lies ahead for Captain Serious? The comments he made during an April 27th "end of season" press conference were very vulnerable. Personally, it was strange to hear Jonathan Toews speak like this. This man has been the hero to so many, and now, we are finally seeing him struggle. It is challenging to watch, but I'm glad he is owning it.

So who really knows what lies in store? It sounds like not even the Captain, himself knows. He is just going to take things slowly and try to succeed in the moments he is given presently. I know the Blackhawks are hoping he can return to the Toews of old, as he, today, turned 34 years old. I think there is some great hockey left in him and I think he will be a Blackhawk next year. I can't wait to see how he adjusts his leadership tactics to being more of a mentor to the young Hawks coming up.

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