It’s now official, even though it always felt as such. But after releasing not only his initial Instagram message but then clarifying it with another, Jonathan Toews and Chicago are officially a thing of the past.
Toews clarifies his future in the NHL pic.twitter.com/qmZKWy2Bef
— Pat Boyle (@BoyleNBCS) August 17, 2023
While it leaves some question as to what he’ll do next, it’s some much needed closure after an emotional farewell at the United Center back in April.
Captain Serious Was Silent Since April
Toews had the hearts of Blackhawks fans from the moment he took the ice as a rookie in 2007. He and Patrick Kane symbolized a future the city and its fans hadn’t experienced in some time. It took only three years before they were champions.
Before they were in the league for a decade, his name was etched on the Cup three times.
But the lean years arrived and so too did the health issues that would slow his career down. Last season saw the issues crop up again, with Toews missing 29 games last season. Toews‘ status was up in the air heading into 2023-24, but not with the Blackhawks.
But in playing hockey again in any capacity. His silence following free agency only led to speculation that he would hang his skates up for good, especially since his agency didn’t release his name when July 1 rolled around.
But then again, crickets. Until now.
Jonathan Toews & Chicago Blackhawks are Forever Intertwined
The thank you he posted resonated deeply with Blackhawks fans for a variety of reasons. The follow up which confirmed he wasn’t walking away from the game yet explained that his love for the sport was still burning.
Beyond all of this however, it provided one final, important piece for fans.
He appreciated them, and loved them as much as they loved him. Players don’t often stay in the same city for their entire career, as a myriad of reasons can pull them away.
But the Blackhawks and Toews parted ways as he approached free agency, with general manager Kyle Davidson explaining his reasoning for doing so. It was rooted in reason–and less emotion.
It reveals that Toews’s affection for the city and its fans was a two-way street. That he heard them during his final lap at the United Center. He knew what it was, and he appreciated it, too.
Toews’s number will one day hang in the rafters. His name will always be synonymous with the Chicago Blackhawks–that’s absolutely confirmed.
So, too, is that he won’t skate for the Blackhawks again.
But at least now, Chicago fans heard it from him.