Chicago Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews Discusses Blackhawks' Future, Whether He'd Play for Another Team as Rebuild Begins

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In less than a month on the job, Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson has already had to make several key decisions for the direction of the franchise, and the deals he has made so far have caused captain Jonathan Toews to openly discuss his feelings on the future of the team that drafted him 16 years ago.

Toews, who remains under contract with the Blackhawks through the end of the 2022-23 season, has openly said he was shocked by the team’s decision to trade Brandon Hagel prior to the deadline.

“If Hags is the guy to get traded, if he’s not a guy that’s part of a rebuild, then I don’t know,” he said to Mark Lazerus of The Athletic. “I don’t know if anyone feels safe at this point…I’m pretty shocked, for sure.”

In an interview this week with media, including NBC Sports Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis, Toews said that for the first time he’s been forced to picture a future outside of the Blackhawks’ organization.

“I wouldn’t say it makes me question it as much as, for the longest time, the thought never entered my mind to leave Chicago,” he said. “In this case, you can’t help but picture yourself and what it would be like to play for another team and what that experience would be.”

In the same answer, Toews said that he considers Chicago home and that he loves the organization, and that he doesn’t want his words to be construed as him potentially angling to leave the Blackhawks.

“Chicago’s my home. I love the Blackhawks, I love the organization, it’s been my family for a long time,” he said. “I’m not putting the cart before the horse or getting ahead of myself in any way.”

Those future decisions for Toews are perhaps closer than many fans realize. After this season, Toews is under contract for one more season on the eight-year deal he signed in July 2014.

That deal will pay him a base salary of $2.9 million next season, along with a $4 million signing bonus. In all, his contract will carry a cap hit of $10.5 million next season.

Those numbers will be critically important both for the Blackhawks, who will be looking to rearrange some contracts to help manage their salary cap situation, and for another team, who would have to take on at least a chunk of Toews’ cap hit and would have to pay part of his salary next season.

Of course any trade would have to be approved by Toews, as he has a no-movement clause in his contract that he would have to waive in order for a trade to occur.

Those types of decisions are still several months away, but with the Blackhawks looking to rebuild their roster around younger players, there are plenty of questions about whether Toews will figure into the team’s future plans, and if he wants to stick around for a rebuild.

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