Winnipeg product Jonathan Toews will suit up in his final game as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
The home game will be the Blackhawks’ captain’s last at the Madhouse on Madison as a member of the home team; he will not be re-signed by the club this offseason.
“Tonight will be his final game as a Blackhawk,” Chicago GM Kyle Davidson shared in a message to fans on social media. “It was very important to us to be able to provide the proper send off for Jonathan and our fans. He has done so much for his organization, and no matter where he plays next, we’re excited our fans get the chance to show Jonathan exactly how much he means to them.”
Winnipeg product Jonathan Toews’ 16-year, 1,067-game career with the Chicago Blackhawks will come to an end tonight.
The captain will not return to the Windy City in 2023-24.
He leaves Illinois with three Stanley Cup rings and a lifetime of memories. https://t.co/8wGGKv7QTZ
— Carter Brooks (@CBrooksie84) April 13, 2023
The 34-year-old has spent his entire 15-year career in Chicago and is in the final days of his eight-year, $84 million extension signed back in July of 2014. Toews will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1, 2023 and will be eligible to sign with any NHL club from then onward.
“This was strictly a decision for what we thought was best for the young players that would come in to step into that role,” Davidson said of new leadership within the team. “Just a clean slate, an opportunity to step up and step in and work through the leadership development on their own terms rather than deferring and just leaving that to someone else. It forces some people to step up and experience things that they wouldn’t experience if Jonathan were in the room.”
Toews won Stanley Cups with the Blackhawks in 2010, 2013 and 2015, while also picking up a Conn Smythe Trophy, a Selke Trophy and the Mark Messier Leadership Award along the way.
Through 1,066 career regular season games, Toews has 371 goals and 882 points to his name. He has added another 45 goals and 119 points in 137 postseason appearances. Back in 2017, Toews was named to the 100 Greatest NHL Players All-Time.
“It was amazing to come up with him at the same time,” former teammate Patrick Kane said. “Obviously, he was a lot more mature than I was coming into the League and ahead of his years, too. So great to come in with him and a lot of great memories just on the ice, off the ice as roommates, everything. I was very fortunate to come in with him at the same time and spend all those years together.”
Drafted third overall in 2006 by the Blackhawks, Toews earned the ‘C’ as captain in the summer of 2008. He won the organization’s first Cup in 49 years just two seasons later. This year, he’s put up 14 goals and 30 points in a shortened 52-game schedule after stepping away to take care of his long-COVID and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome, which caused him to miss all of 2020-21.
Chicago is currently 30th in the league and has only been in the postseason once in its past six years. The Blackhawks host the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. There will a lengthy pre-game tribute prior to the 6:30 PM central puck drop.