A Big Year Coming For Jonathan Toews

It’s September, which means the hockey season begins soon. The Blackhawks will have a new look to open the season with head coach Jeremy Colliton installed to run his first training camp and a new group of younger players.

Jonathan Toews leadership on and off the ice will be in focus this season.

Toews always been considered one of – if not the best leader in the NHL, and former coach Joel Quenneville told media as much this summer. With a new coaching staff and two consecutive seasons without playoffs, the Toews-Kane-Keith-Seabrook era is under the microscope more than ever.

The next few days will be big for the future of the NHL. Toews shared some strong comments with the Daily Herald over the weekend about the state of the CBA. The NHL cannot have another work stoppage, but the players have a couple significant arguments – the Olympics and escrow – they want rectified.

Chicago’s captain is coming off a career-high 35 goals and 81 points, but he received only an 87 rating on NHL 19. Many fans scoffed at the ranking, which ranked 50th on the video game, but it’s indicative of how the game at large feels about Chicago’s core.

For the first time in a few years, Toews will begin a season with the center position being a deep one in Chicago.

Dylan Strome emerged as a legit second line center last year and showed elite chemistry with Alex DeBrincat. Both of them are one season away from restricted free agency, so they’ll be motivated by money as well as success for the team on the ice.

Veteran additions Ryan Carpenter and Zack Smith will compliment David Kampf and Andrew Shaw as potential bottom-six centers and give the Blackhawks more options on penalty killing duty, which should help Toews’ overall game as well.

Toews shouldn’t be relied on to win every defensive zone faceoff and kill every penalty, which should be refreshing.

With DeBrincat and Strome figuring to be locked on a line together, it appears the years of Toews and Patrick Kane being separated are over (for now). One of the biggest questions entering training camp is who skates on the left side with Chicago’s two superstar forwards. Will Brandon Saad move back up the board? Will to pick Kirby Dach earn a spot for a full season as a teenager? Or will Shaw find himself loving shinpads in the top six in his return to Chicago?

There are lots of questions the Blackhawks need to answer in the coming month. Toews’ effort and leadership won’t be among them, but the roster dynamics around him will be something to follow as the season draws near.

21 thoughts on “A Big Year Coming For Jonathan Toews

  • September 4, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Lol wonder if knowing Toews would be outspoken on his Nhlpa stance have some influence on Nhl rating.

    Regardless he is second to none in leadership which will be invaluable with as you mentioned Collitons fresh approach to defense/pk with revamped coaching staff. Kane and Debrincat may be exceptions but offensive numbers may be off for some, but i think guys like Saad, Strome and Shaw, Keith and Seabrook can be improved contributors in their overall games in this system, plus making newly acquired vets and younger hopefuls adjustment as painless as possible, should make a interesting year.

  • September 4, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Solid goaltending and defense , power play and pk are keys..i believe big improvements will take place. Look for the Hawks to be tough to play against again..

  • September 4, 2019 at 10:14 am

    As Q used to say I’m not worried about the Hawks scoring it’s keeping the puck out of our net that concerns me.

    Obviously they’ll be playing a more D oriented game which might bring some individuals offensive numbers down a little but overall I expect the Hawks to score about the same

    They have a real chance with a significant improvement in their defensive play and combined goaltending to really move up the standings

    Very excited to see how things play out with the roster in training camp and for the season to get going

    I expect at least 2 of Dach, Nylander and Kubalik to be on the team

  • September 4, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Wrap agree. Keller who regressed from 23g to 14g last season, just signed 8 yr ext 7.15m aav caphit. What is Debrincat, who went from 28g to 41g last season worth now, yikes.

  • September 4, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    This will be the first season in some time that Crawfords health won’t cause panick every game. Goaltending should be solid this year with a deep system and improved defence. I look for these Hawks to shake things up in the Central and bring the Roar back to the Mad House. Go Hawks !!!!

  • September 4, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    Kevin, were deep again now so yeah were good from here on out. 21 season could be very exciting. I think this season will be and be another level we ll take it to for the coming seasons. We really havnt been deep since 2015 and young wave will make the roster even deeper, quality wise.

    Game on
    2012 2nd 40 games

    game off
    2017 2nd 40 games

    game on
    2021 and on

  • September 4, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Yeah Crow is good again and having Lehner makes us like 2013 2014 2015 again. Two top goalies and no worry. Like when Crow wasnt good in 2015 NAS. Darls was there and now Lehner is there.

    First time since we were 1 seed we had two good goalies. First time since 2016 we had deep roster. First time since 2010 & 2013 we had center depth like this. Were ready now this yr & for the coming yrs.

  • September 4, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Want to quit seeing escrow increase? Stop invoking the escalator!

    The players bargained for 50% of HRR. The league guesses at what future revenue will be thus setting the cap ceiling. The players then nearly every year invoke their clause to raise the cap higher.

    If the agreed to number was 50% of revenue, and revenue was down then the players get more than 50%. If revenue is greater than projected the players get all their escrow back and a bonus. It happened after the 04/05 lockout. Players were making 110% of their contract.

  • September 4, 2019 at 5:30 pm

    They did that this year, point being proven right now, why do you think so many rfas unsigned, negotiation game happening. Cap goes flat, salaries stagnate, cap crunches worsen, on ice product decreases as less skilled, cheaper talent are afforded roster spots with the resident superstars. May be Blackhawks next summer.

  • September 4, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    I know the 19 88 because of the 12 17 thing. I really like a line with bad intentions with 20 19 65.

  • September 4, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    Yikes, Bowman did it again! Forgot to hand in the paperwork for Sean Element! And the rest? Hmmmm…. Can you spell Buff and Ladd circa 2010?
    Looking forward to hearing about the Traverse tournament and hopefully Perlini’s contract, especially because Nylander with be in Rockford to start the season.

  • September 5, 2019 at 12:38 am

    65 19 88
    12 17 8
    20 15 77
    91 64 22

  • September 5, 2019 at 1:01 am

    8 is better then 24, 65 15 are top 9 players, 91 brings speed to 4th line checking line. The 3rd line is really good two way line once Dach is ready.

  • September 5, 2019 at 5:28 am

    Mo saw a headline yesterday that 88 working out with 12 and 17 before camp, seems a stretch those 3 would be together all the time. If they were though, how about a 20 19 77 top line. Then 8 could be leader in a group of fwds playing to be joining 65 on the 3rd line.

  • September 5, 2019 at 9:35 am

    People will point to the not much Defense on a 12 17 88 line, though they could come out like Q did with ? 19 88 after a goal or by having a stout 3rd line two way line similar to 20 15 77 and a 1st of ? 19 65 and a 4th checking line, maybe they do not have to be really good at D.

    Were deep this yr and by having 65 and 15 and I think 8 as top 9 players with the big 5, that leaves one spot for a loaded top 9, with no players like 11 91 other in top 9. Its entirety is real top 6 or 9 players of skill and two way. Which means were one Dach away from being a stacked top 9.

  • September 5, 2019 at 9:45 am

    You gotta figure with the Horsemen, however many of them, that are coming that its Matta or Haan and one of the goalies that is not kept to get us 9m plus cap raise 2-3, say 2.5 for 11.5 m right there. So theres a good thing for keeping every FW basically like 65 15 and getting 12 17 raises. Its the DEF that would not keep everyone with young wave D coming.

    Then we have Kurachev and others/92 so by then we could a FW for salary cap and still be just as good, no level difference because I like Kurachev and if he is good, were looking pretty stacked for awhile at FW. Just make sure we have enough D. We should go for a #1 D at some point and that may take a FW and a 1st, so be it.

    Then were really stacked. No matter what way we look at it were going to be dang good for yrs coming.

  • September 5, 2019 at 10:24 am

    Once Dach is ready, Saader started out with 20 19 81 and it took a bit for points thouh he was learning how to play with the Two best two way players in the league, the right way. So 20 19 77 could be a good place and theres your elite two way line like the 20 19 81 line. Not sure if you do 12 17 88 though that works good then you can roll with those lines.

    Whats beauty is with 65 and 15, having 15 is like having 36 or 16 in prime in a way in at the same time as 65, we have that complete package of 3rd and 4th line players of quality.

    8 is good then were talking. We talked about it in 2009 and the FW needed to back check better. They did much better in 2010 with back checking. So this group of FW being this deep needs to do same. Group of 5 players not FW and D seperate.

  • September 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

    I would rather have guys playing full speed and going hard like that, then trying to always look for the predictable pass and play. Thats why 29 19 88 worked so good. It wasnt predictable like 72 15 88. So I would do the 20 19 77/65 or beast 19 88 line then a 12 17 88 line. I think 12 17 work well because they just play and donot look for it.

    Let it happen and come to instead of push force.

  • September 5, 2019 at 10:29 am

    I think the holdup on getting Perlini is related to the holdup on getting all the big name RFAs signed – Marner, Laine, Point, Tkachuk, Rantenan, and I’m probably missing one or two more. Stan needs to make another move or two to be able to sign Perlini for the AAV that he commands and all the teams are in a holding pattern on making moves until the signing of those high-end RFAs gets resolved. With training camps starting soon and the start of the season only a month away – something has to give pretty soon … I would think.

  • September 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Think Craig mentioned were not paying 11 around 2 m, more like 1-1.5 m or trade. To me by everything we ve done since draft, were keeping 11 and for 1-1.5 and just be that full of a roster. Maybe make trade between game 20-40 kind of thing.

  • September 6, 2019 at 4:54 am

    Toews got a 88 rating in newest NHL game, not 87. They upped his rating since last year.

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