Report: Toews voted against NHL Return To Play plan

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. 

24 thoughts on “Report: Toews voted against NHL Return To Play plan

  1. Interesting, may explain some of the comments he made when camp started and was criticized about. If he is against playing, he should be allowed to be public about it. Majority voted for it, that’s the process.

  2. Leadership can be lonely!
    Well done JT- you have demonstrated, once again, that you are willing to stand out FROM the pack and not just go along WITH the pack!! Couldn’t agree more that this return to play at this juncture of Covid is ridiculous!!
    Your management could learn from your leadership and show a willingness to stand out, take risks, DO THE RIGHT THING!

  3. I agree with Toews. The health of every one involved is more important than awarding the Stanley Cup in 2020.

  4. Like many others on this board, I get that the return to play is about money and do not support it. Far better just to go with a full reset and wait until October to start up again.

  5. A true stand against coming back would be to opt out like several other players have done.Voting against it when you know everyone else is voting for it and then going on to play anyway is not taking a stand.The way things are going we won’t have long to debate it.Looking like 2 games and done then onto the Draft Lottery.

  6. JT-a warrior on the ice and smart, compassionate, honest person off. Some of the comments today are way off base, but not unexpected. But they do reflect our world today, and that’s part of the reality of 2020.

  7. Off course he vote to not return …Toews is a very intelligent man and he knows it can be very risky to play hockey with the invisible virus.
    But the fudging money won again and players will play for the owners who will get more cash without any risk .
    Hopefully nobody will be touch by the virus in the players family.

  8. Dayso..respect the people who work in hospital for us. Your opinion is yours JT has his opinion and I respect it.

  9. I’m just coming back to hockey, so my guess is this has possibly been addressed in previous threads. Sorry if it has but it is something I am curious people’s opinion on.
    Crow is 35 year old goalie with a history of head injuries. who hasn’t practiced since March.

    I’m not dr but putting him out there next, is kinda scary thought to me. Curious others opinions.

    Side note Butch

    Sounds like we both some family members that would get along. We have one that pick any topic in the world and he is able with in a few minutes able to turn virus related.

  10. Heidi, I share your concern regarding Crawford. It seems unrealistic he can get up to speed in the short time remaining until the games begin. What we don’t know is what Corey’s been doing during his downtime – maybe he is in tiptop shape and only needs a few practices to see pucks flying at him to be ready to go – that’s the hope, I guess.

  11. OOPS – I hit ‘post’ prematurely. I meant to add that since Crawford is UFA, I gotta think it’s in his own best self interest to not play poorly, if he does play, because that could affect his next contract, either with the Hawks or another team. I doubt he plays unless he feels he’s truly ready and at his best. The argument that a 75% Crawford is better than a 100% Delia or Subban may hold water with Hawks fans but I don’t think Crawford would see it that way.

  12. One other comment about Toews:
    His position as the Blackhawks player representative to the NHLPA means he has a leadership position for both the team and the PA. He is responsible for listening to the team and relaying their thoughts to the rest of the players in the league and also for bringing back to the ‘Hawks players what happens in the Executive Board meetings. His leadership among the team is well known. Providing advice and counsel to the other members of the board is also a leadership role.

    However, the suggestions I’ve seen on this site that he should have “opted out” of playing because he recommended to the board that they decline to play is off-base.

    Toews gave his opinions to the PA Executive board and to the Hawks team members, trying to get the to recognize the concerns he sees. But just as he must abide by the standard player contract that was agreed as part of the CBA, he will abide by the vote of the players to ratify the return to play agreements. The decision to opt-out must be based on personal concerns for his health as well as the health of his family and loved ones, whereas the recommendation to the board is for the entire PA to decline to play.

    I think he performed his leadership responsibilities appropriately and responsibly.

  13. I am with Uncle Bill on this one. Towes did his job. As the saying goes “only dead fish go with the flow” and he had a differing opinion and voted as such. Regardless of my opinion on Covid, he did what he thought was right and as members of society we all need to generate our own pinions concerning the proper response to the virus taking into account our own situations and respect opinions of others that differ. References to Trump, Biden and the other jokers have no business on this site. Days got though it and I am happy for him/her. Everyone should reference the data and draw their own conclusions.

    Back to hockey. I have not been a fan of the tournament. Anything that distracts a lousy team like the Hawks from getting better is a waste of time. Keeping a lousy coach and a lousy GM in order to participate in this ill thought tournament is counter productive to the one goal. If we were to play our young players, that would be one thing. However you have Kane, Keith, DeHaan, Seabrook …. in the line up. Stan talking about not ruling Crow out and you wonder what these boozos are thinking. An injury to Kane because he was not in full game shape will destroy the 20/21 season. I would also have voted against the tournament being played at this time. One Goal, go Hawks. Get sweeped, no injuries, and get that 1st pick in the draft.

  14. So Friedman didn’t know what Toews said ..
    Who told him ?
    Talking to show that he knows something or just lied?
    Who’s right ? Toews or Friedman ?
    So .? Why say that Toews said that ?
    Very strange feeling about that .
    I wonder if Toews is still happy with the Hawks .

  15. It’s just rumour and speculation from Friedman that Toews voted no – he in fact voted yes – he’s not going to lie about it

    Toews is quoted as saying he asked a lot of questions regarding safety and encouraged other players to do the same but felt in the end that the protocols that were eventually put in place are as good as it can be and he was happy with that

    Probably his questioning increased the level of the safety protocols – well done Tazer!

  16. Friedman i believeit was who also repoerted Keith and Seabrook were asked by Bowman to waive their nmcs, which turned out to be false also.

  17. The face of Hockey says this summer league gimmick is stupid/and unnecessary for the NHL to force/—- a tournament that has no meaning. A meaningless tournament where players have had 5 mths off.

    5 mths off is more then a regular off season. 5 mths and go at full speed is a disaster in the making.

    This is The Most Stupid thing the NHL has done since/in my entire life.

    There is nothing good out of this. Only to force against will.

    Lets have a summer rec league after a 5 mth layover and go at full spead not get uo to preseason then first 10 games which are always a Getty up.

  18. This is to cater to the teams with the top records and to manipulate a tournament. Only thing you get out of things like that is a fake orchestrated meaningless games where half the players are not fit to play.

    No honor in that. Watch a team like VEG win on a half asss roster like this.

  19. Tazer said what we ve been saying all along. Trying to force feed a summer rec league tournament after 5 mths off is just plain stupid.

    Plus the top 5 teams will be the top 5 tames next yr anyways. So why whine about it.

    Suck it up buttercup. Leave your cell phones at home and go out for the night like a man.

  20. Mo if no playoffs they said cap would be in 65m range and players being paying 40% of their salaries in escrow. It would be a mess and many lower paid fa players be going to European leagues next year. Like it or not, if they keep them safe, first priority, it is the best route for all concerned long term.

  21. Didnot know/hear that. Thats BS/not literly that the money part like that is forcing every team/player to do tournament for the wrong reasons.

    HHNL, thats what I think.

  22. Didnt see the posts with Tazer voted yes to playing before I posted some of those posts. Anyways money being the reason is BS to me. Already staying same for three yrs why not 4 yrs and just go to next season full tilt. I mean its going to be starting in mid sept anyways.

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