CHICAGO (AP) — Jonathan Toews had a special night when he said goodbye to Chicago. He smiled and waved to fans who shouted his name, thumped his chest, and lifted his stick in the air as they cheered loudly.
Toews played for the Chicago Blackhawks for 15 years. During that time, the team won three Stanley Cup championships! Thursday was his last game and it ended with a 5-4 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Later that day, the team’s manager said they would not extend the contract of Toews who is almost 35 years old. He had signed an 8-year long contract before which was worth $84 million. Toews found it hard to accept all the praise and love he was getting, so he tried his best to appreciate it.
“Mr. Davidson said that Jonathan was part of an organization and he made so many amazing memories there. He will always be remembered as a Blackhawk!”
Jonathan Toews, who was once known as “Captain Serious”, didn’t seem to show much of his personality until now. He has been absent from some part of this season because he explained that he had symptoms related to long COVID-19 and chronic immune response syndrome. Additionally, the same health issues caused him to be absent for the whole 2020-21 season.
Jonathan Toews said that retiring as a Hawk is something he still believes in, despite the possibility of playing for another team. He was part of Chicago’s Stanley Cup-winning team back in 2010, which marked the first championship win for the Blackhawks in almost 50 years.
When Jonathan Toews was announced by the starting lineup, everybody cheered loudly. They shouted with even more excitement when he scored a goal during the game in the second period. It was his first goal since January 28th and his fifteenth overall this season. Until now, Jonathan has scored 372 goals and made 511 assists from 1067 regular-season games – all while playing for the Chicago team.
“I don’t have any bad feelings,” he said. “I’m very thankful for the Blackhawks.”
In 2006, when Chicago picked him with the 3rd choice in the draft, it was one of the first steps they took to becoming an excellent team. He was only 20 when they made him captain of the team in 2008.
Luke Richardson, the first-year coach said, “Our team is led by him for quite some time. I used to watch his playing and was already a big fan of him. This year I finally got the chance to work with him and it’s amazing!”
Jonathan Toews was part of a group of players that helped the Chicago Blackhawks achieve amazing results, such as winning two Stanley Cup titles in 2013 and 2015 and making it to the Western Conference finals in 2014. However, recently the team has been struggling a lot, so much so that they are competing for the chance to pick Connor Bedard with the first overall spot in this year’s draft.
The Chicago Blackhawks recently let go of their captain Jonathan Toews. This came after they had traded away another star player, Patrick Kane, to the New York Rangers in February. According to John Davidson, who works for the team, letting go of Toews and Kane does not mean that we have forgotten about our past. It’s just a way to make more room for young players so that they can take on leadership roles similar to what those two players had when they first joined the Blackhawks.
Last week while the team was in Seattle, Davidson held a few conversations and then he told Toews of his decision. Davidson also talked to Danny Wirtz, son of the Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz, about what he decided.
Danny and Rocky chatted with Jonathan. They didn’t talk about anything important, they just spoke as a show of respect and shared their memories together. When people are moving on from someone like Jonathan Toews, they need to be included in the process since he is well-known and very respected.