Jonathan Toews is no longer so sure of his future

While the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning appear to have made a fair trade involving forward Brandon Hagel, captain Jonathan Toews was surprised by his forever team’s decision.

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The future of the Manitoban in Illinois has never been so vague, just like that of his faithful sidekick Patrick Kane, whom many see changing his address by Monday. The contracts of the two stars will expire at the end of the next campaign.

On Friday, the Hawks dispatched Hagel and two fourth-round picks against two conditional first-round picks, Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk. Toews struggles to understand why general manager Kyle Davidson let the 23-year-old winger go.

“If ‘Hags’ is the guy who gets traded, if he’s not a guy who’s part of the rebuild, I don’t know anymore. [quoi penser]. I don’t know if anyone can feel safe now, with the way he was playing and what he was worth to our team,” Toews said in an interview with sports website The Athletic on Friday.

The Saskatchewanian had only played for the Blackhawks for two seasons, but he showed very good offensive statistics in 2021-2022 with 37 points, including 21 goals, in 55 games.

“I had a hard time thinking he could be one of the guys sacrificed, considering what he brought. Yes, it is difficult to digest. I’m a bit in shock,” added Toews, who is having a disappointing season with 24 points in 50 games.

Not the only one

There have been many changes in the past few months in Chicago for a variety of reasons. The team is experiencing difficulties on the ice, but each decision of the staff also seems to surprise the members of the club.

“I was really in shock… I took a step back and thought, ‘This is interesting,'” head coach Derek King told the Chicago Sun-Times. which brings back a lot of emotions on the side of its players since the transaction.

“Obviously you invest a ton of energy and emotion and caring for your teammates because you’re all working for a common goal,” Toews said. Suddenly you realize that no one on your team is safe and that we could all go in different directions in the near future. It’s a bit discouraging.”

The Blackhawks hold the second-to-last spot in the Central Division, just ahead of the Arizona Coyotes. They are expected to miss the playoffs for the fourth time in five years.

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