It would be weird to see Jonathan Toews leaves his Chicago Blackhawks, but there is a growing sense that the captain could be moved ahead of the trade deadline. However, everyone would understand the move and how Toews could hope to win another Stanley Cup championship before his retirement.
The veteran forward is in the last year of his contract and is set to hit free agency this summer. If Toews wants to chase that Cup and is open to getting traded, it might make sense for the Blackhawks to move him as part of an ongoing rebuild.
“Both Kane and Toews never thought the day would come that they would leave Chicago,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said. “I think the two of those guys have really had a difficult time wrapping their heads around that.”
If the decision is made that Toews - and the Blackhawks - move on, there are few teams interested for him on the market. Friedman pointed to the Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets or even the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes getting in the mix.
Those interested teams were probably very interested to hear when Friedman leaked on the Jeff Marek Show on Thursday the asking price the Blackhawks might have in mind for Toews.
“I think they’re looking at a second or third-round pick, probably. That’s what a couple teams told me… that’s what they think [the cost would be to acquire Toews].”
However, Friedman would be surprised if a third team needs to get in the mix to make it happen. Most of Toews’ $84 million has already been paid, but he still carries a cap hit of $10.5 million. Many of the teams that might call on Toews have little cap room to finagle a deal. It could be possible the Blackhawks would have to absorb half of the cap hit, and teams might even need to involve a third team to facilitate a deal.
“There’s a lot of (cap space involved), but by NHL standards, there’s not a lot of money because they (Toews and Kane) both had big bonuses this year, so a lot of their salary this year is already paid,” Friedman added. “But, yes, I do think in both cases, there might need to be a third team involved.”
Following Friedman’s comments, Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon and Jason Bukala suggested 4 trade proposals for Toews.
While the Hawks have been struggling mightily this season, Toews has been impressive, as always in the face-off circles, and could have another Cup run in his blood. Any contender would be lucky to land him at the trade deadline.