Jonathan Toews, aka “Captain Serious” has announced he will be taking a year off from hockey the
Toews clarifies his future in the NHL pic.twitter.com/qmZKWy2Bef
— Pat Boyle (@BoyleNBCS) August 17, 2023
He has been clear, he is not retiring at this time, but after missing the entire 2020-21 season due to the effects of long-Covid, he has never really been able to recover and return to the level of play he once regularly achieved. Yes, he did return and played parts of two more seasons, but he was never capable of playing consistently.
Jonathan Toews has played a pivotal role in the Chicago Blackhawks’ success since being selected third overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, playing his entire career for this one franchise. As the team’s captain and one of its star players, Toews’ leadership, skill, and consistency had been instrumental in the Blackhawks’ achievements, including winning three Stanley Cups in 2010, 2013, and 2015 as they were the gold standard for NHL franchises for more than a decade, even being dubbed a “dynasty”. The first salary cap era team to be given that moniker.
What a career it's been, so far, for Jonathan Toews! pic.twitter.com/fym6x4gOBm
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 18, 2023
Toews’ on-ice performance is characterized by his two-way play, strong defensive abilities, and offensive contributions. He consistently ranks among the team’s top scorers while also excelling in faceoffs and defensive responsibilities. His ability to lead by example both on and off the ice has contributed to a winning culture within the Blackhawks’ organization.
Speaking Friday at a farewell game for former Blackhawks teammate Marian Hossa in Trencin, Slovakia, Toews said, “I think it’s important for me at this point to continue giving myself a space and time to heal, and I think getting back in a training and preparing and being on the ice every single day, and trying to get yourself to a place where you can only handle the NHL season in the grind of playing every other day, and also playing at your highest level and your mind you are capable of, it’s just a lot right now, and it just puts a lot of stress on what I’ve been through physically.”
Marian Hossa with Jonathan Toews and Zdeno Chara during his goodbye game. pic.twitter.com/HGuzlrjkFr
— Hockey Of Tomorrow (@HockeyTomorrow) August 18, 2023
His impact on the ice is one thing, but his connection to the Chicago fan base is another. Having been a Blackhawk his entire career has made him a rare commodity in the modern NHL as players no longer stay with just one franchise, instead, they tend to move to earn the most possible.
Wasn’t planning on getting all verklempt on this fine Thursday morning, but Jonathan Toews’ farewell message to Chicago on Instagram surely is a good reason to be. #ChicagosCaptain #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/SzbmwPw5qj
— Brooke (@brooke_lofo) August 17, 2023
Toews also made an impact internationally. As a member of Team Canada at multiple levels, he has had a large role in helping to guide Canada’s international success. His performances at the World Junior Championships were showcased prominently during the 2007 tournament when he captained the Canadian team to a gold medal victory.
Jonathon Toews made a name for himself in tonight's World Juniors Revisited series on @TSN1200.
We take you to 2007 semifinal between Canada and USA and an epic shoot-out.
— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) May 12, 2020
His ability to perform under pressure and his leadership qualities were evident in his play and helped set the tone for the team’s success.
His impact on Canada’s international success also extends to the Olympic stage as well. Representing Canada in multiple Winter Olympics, including 2010 and 2014. In the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Toews played a significant role, contributing crucial goals and, as always, providing a dependable two-way game. Canada went on to win the gold medal, and Toews’ contributions were vital to the team’s success. His performance exemplified his ability to shine on the international stage by playing steady, reliable, work-a-day two-way hockey and helped solidify Canada’s dominance in ice hockey.
These players – who have won the World Juniors, World Championships, Olympics, World/Canada Cup, Stanley Cup – make up the “As Gold As It Gets Club”:
– Slava Fetisov
– Igor Larionov
– Scott Niedermayer
– Joe Sakic
– Patrice Bergeron
– Sidney Crosby
– Jonathan Toews
– Corey Perry pic.twitter.com/dGZIOEw2vZ
— Leafs & Hockey (@tmltweet) May 9, 2020
Covid-19 Keeps Punching Society in the Balls
Covid continues to plague our society. Even now, we are still learning its impacts. In this case, it is the impact of long COVID. It can significantly disrupt the life and career of a professional athlete. The physical, psychological, and social impacts can be profound, and in the case of Jonathan Toews, it necessitates a full year off to try and recover. There are dozens of symptoms, however, there is one that stands out. His play over the last two seasons has shown an impact on his cardiovascular output, which makes sense as long as COVID has been linked to extreme fatigue, which can severely impact an athlete’s stamina and overall endurance.
If this is the end of his playing career, and that is more than likely, it is appropriate to point out that goals and point totals are not the only way to impact a team or earn a call to the Hall of Fame. Toews’ impact transcends statistics; his leadership, work ethic, and ability to perform in clutch moments have left an indelible mark on both the Chicago Blackhawks and Canada’s national teams.
His commitment to the game, dedication to his teammates, and sportsmanship have set a high standard for aspiring hockey players. His number 19 WILL be hanging from the rafters of the Madhouse on Madison in the near future, also, his face WILL be on a plaque in the Hall of Fame in Toronto. He has done more than enough on the ice to prove he is one of, if not THE greatest player to don the Blackhawks sweater.