There are a few veterans still available on the free agent market that are contemplating coming back for another season. Jonathan Toews is one of them.
The former Blackhawks captain remains an unrestricted free agent, currently mulling over his options for next fall.
There is only one thing that is certain when it comes to Toews, and that he has played his final game in a Chicago uniform. The club previously announced that the team would not re-sign the 35-year-old, ending an illustrious and successful legacy for Toews in the Windy City.
The concern with Toews is his health, as he continues to battle with chronic immune response syndrome and long COVID. He has been open about the struggles of the last three seasons, which included him missing the entirety of the 2020-21 season and a portion of the 2022-23 campaign.
Toews isn’t the impactful No. 1 center he once was when he helped the Blackhawks win three Stanley Cups. However, if Toews does want to continue his NHL career next season, he could provide a stable defensive presence down the middle on a third line and be an elite faceoff man.
The Sporting News is tracking all the latest updates on Toews in the offseason.
Is Jonathan Toews retiring?
There has not been any news on if Toews is retiring or signing a contract to play next season. However, there is speculation that Toews could be on his way to retirement based on his agent.
Toews is represented by the Creative Arts Agency. The organization recently released their list of free agents this summer, and Toews was not included on the list.
Of course nothing is official until it’s official, but that’s probably a sign of the end.#Blackhawks
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) July 12, 2023
Nothing has been made official, however, it certainly seems like a sign pointing that the longtime Blackhawks captain might be hanging them up for good.
One of the last updates from Toews’ camp came towards the end of the regular season when he said he still did not know what his future held, but that he would only come back and play if he was 100% committed.
“Right now, you ask me that question and the honest answer is, I got no idea,” Toews said to The Athletic in early April. “I can tell the media wants to ask me about my so-called ‘pending retirement,’ even though I never said those words. But it’ll be a process of just feeling out what I truly feel inspired to do.
“But at this point, I’ve realized there’s no point in continuing to stomach this struggle. So if it’s not a hell yeah, then it’s a hell no.”
So far, there have not been any reports of Toews either contemplating retirement or any sort of rumors that he has been tied to specific teams.
It was known before free agency started that Toews was going to take his time with his decision. There is still plenty of time left in the offseason, although cap space is becoming more and more scarce.
Jonathan Toews career stats
If Toews does decide to hang up the skates for good, he would go down in history as one of the greatest Blackhawks of all time.
Toews delivered three Stanley Cups to the city of Chicago, wearing the “C” for all three of the championship runs and winning the Conn Smythe in 2010 as playoff MVP. He also has a Selke Trophy, a Mark Messier Leadership Award and six All-Star selections to his name.
On the international stage, the Winnipeg native won two Olympic gold medals and one IIHF World Championship gold. Along with the Stanley Cups, that makes Toews one of the few members of hockey’s “Triple Gold Club.” He also earned two IIHF World Junior Championship gold medals.
In Blackhawks’ history, Toews is fifth in games played and shots, sixth in goals and points, seventh in power-play goals and eighth in assists.