Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews wasn’t at practice the last couple days, being ruled “unfit to participate.” As a reminder, “unfit” is the word prescribed by the NHL for players not on the ice as the league prepares for its postseason.
However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on his latest 31 Thoughts: The Podcast that Toews voted against the NHL’s Return to Play plan.
According to Friedman, Toews was one of two players on the NHLPA’s Executive Board to vote against the NHL and NHLPA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement extension. That extension, ratified by both sides on July 10, included the Return to Play plan.
The vote was for both the CBA extension and the Return to Play plan, so a vote against one was against both. Toews’ issues, according to Friedman, were centered around the health of players returning to the ice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From Friedman on the podcast:
“I have been told by many, many, many players that one of the most vocal players during the process of coming back to play was Jonathan Toews, that he asked a lot of questions. And other players really defended him. They said he was great, he asked relevant questions, he challenged whether or not this was really safe to play.”
Toews is one of 31 players that make up the NHLPA’s Executive Board; each team has a player representative.