It's no secret that the Chicago Blackhawks are once again in period of darkness in their franchise. That much was officially confirmed when the team decided to trade popular goal scoring forward Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators during the offseason as well as letting Kirby Dach and Dominik Kubalik depart; meanwhile, franchise icons Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are both entering the final year of their hefty 8-year deals that carry AAV's of $10.5 million.
And with the NHL Trade Deadline on the horizon, speculation continues to grow as to what the team will be doing with the duo that helped lead them to three Stanley Cup championships. For Toews, he knows that a move could be forthcoming given the current state of the franchise.
"For myself, it's still a difficult question to answer cause there's a part of myself that doesn't really want to admit the situation and also wants to continue being a Blackhawk and finish my career here," Toews said. "But at the same time, there's a part of me that sees the writing on the wall and sees that this team, this organization is trying to hit the reset button and that maybe a change for everybody is not such a bad thing, and that goes for myself as well."
"It's hard to even predict for myself what the end of this year, let alone next year could look like," Toews said. "And I think sometimes the dominant thought in your mind changes day to day, so why even worry about that at this point? My focus has been on what's right in front of me for the most part."
Toews also knows that Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson will have all eyes on him as the Deadline approaches.
"I understand he has a job to do and he's really investing in the future of this franchise and rightfully so in a lot of respects," Toews said. "For myself, it's just kind of a tricky situation, the last year of my contract and I haven't played my best hockey in some time, so I'm not sure what the opportunities or what's going to come knocking.
"But there's no doubt in my mind, again, I'm focusing on my game, trying to improve that every single day and trying to enjoy just playing the game, being a Blackhawk as long as I can, for however long that is and while it still lasts."
The 2023 NHL Trade Deadline falls on March 3, 2023.