Long-time captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, Jonathan Toews, will be playing his final game as a Blackhawk tonight against the Flyers.
In a statement, the Chicago Blackhawks and GM Kyle Davidson say it was a difficult decision to cut ties with the Winnipeg-Born center and thanked him for his efforts over the season and his career.
“Recently, we had the difficult conversation that we won’t be re-signing him this offseason,” said Davidson, in a prepared statement.
“He has done so much for his organization, and no matter where he plays next, we’re excited our fans get to show Jonathan exactly how much he means to them.”
This will be the first time the top-6 center will hit Unrestricted Free Agency in his career, at the age of 35. The former University of North Dakota forward was drafted #3 overall in 2006.
Toews is coming off back-to-back down seasons with 37 points in 71 games in 2021-2022 and 30 points in 51 games in 2022-2023, after repeatedly missing time due to symptoms of COVID-19 and the entire 2020-2021 season.
Through 1066 games played in his 15-year career, all with the Blackhawks, Toews has 371 goals and 511 assists for 882 points, along with 607 penalty minutes.
He’s in his last season of an 8-year, $84 million deal and will enter the game fifth in all-time games played for the franchise, sitting sixth in both goals and points.
Toews also boasts 119 points in 137 playoff games, a Selke Trophy, a Conn Smythe Trophy from 2010 as the playoff MVP, 3 Stanley Cup rings from 2010, 2013 and 2015, an Olympic Gold Medal from 2010 and a World Hockey Championship.
At this point, Toews hasn’t made any indication regarding his future.
Other teams that could be interested in Toews include the Winnipeg Jets who are expected to trade Pierre Luc-Dubois this summer and could use his leadership qualities, the Colorado Avalanche who continue to have a hole at #2C and were previously interested in him, as well as the Minnesota Wild.
Toews’ former linemate Patrick Kane is also expected to hit UFA status this summer.
Kane was traded to the New York Rangers prior to the NHL’s trade deadline and has 5 goals with 7 assists for 12 points in 18 games in the big apple. He and Toews had signed matching 8-year $84 million contracts with Chicago back in 2014.