Rumor: Jonathan Toews linked to Stanley Cup contender.

The groundwork for a deal may be laid out.

Jonathan Larivee

The Chicago Blackhawks appear destined to, at some point in the not so distant future, move on from two of the players that have been cornerstones of their franchise for the last 15 years. Those players are of course longtime Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Blackhawks superstar forward Patrick Kane.

Some believe that we are more likely to see Toews moved than Kane, a sentiment that was recently echoed by National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman.

"Toews has been very clear that it's time for him to go," said Friedman on the 32 Thoughts podcast.

In what was something of a rare moment from the NHL insider, he also shared his speculation regarding where he believes Toews could end up going next. While he admitted that is was purely speculation on his part, Friedman would go on to link Toews to the defending Stanley Cup champions.

"I really wonder and this is purely me spitballing and making stuff up, but I do wonder if Toews ends up in Colorado," said Friedman. "You know they lost Kadri, they just signed Evan Rodriguez, they are gonna go for the Stanley Cup again this year. I just wonder if there is a fit there."

That certainly would be a huge addition for the Colorado Avalanche, but you might wonder how they could fit Toews' massive contract under their salary cap. A little later in the podcast Friedman was asked about the possibility of a third team being involved in a trade that would ship Toews out of Chicago, and it sounds like the Blackhawks may have already put the necessary pieces in place for such a move.

"That's gonna happen," said Friedman. " I do believe it's gonna happen, I shouldn't say it's gonna happen but it could happen. I believe the groundwork has already been laid. They will be traded to someone first and then be traded to whoever they go to, that's a possibility."

It sounds like a trade involving Toews may almost be a forgone conclusion at this point, but that doesn't mean that either Toews or the Blackhawks will be rushing into things. Toews controls his fate with a full no movement clause, and Friedman believes both he and Patrick Kane have been advised to wait and study the landscape of the NHL before potentially making any decisions regarding a trade.

"I think their advice was, let's see who's good and then we'll make decisions," said Friedman.