Former Teammates of Jonathan Toews Speak on His Presence

Published May 12, 2023 at 4:41 PM
In honour of 1,000 NHL games, Jonathan Toews's former teammates were questioned on playing with the 14 year veteran. Here's what they had to say this past year:

Marian Hossa:

«Obviously, Jonny and Kaner were these two young up-and-coming stars. They were used to scoring goals. There was a game I think it was my first year and they were playing together and they came off the ice and I ended up sitting between them on the bench. They were frustrated. One was telling the other to start passing the puck and the other was saying, no, you start passing the puck. And they were going back and forth back and forth through me. I was like, «OK, hold on guys, this is like a junior league.» I told them, «do you hear yourselves? It's kind of funny, but, you know, stop it. What are you guys talking about?» It was like a tennis match back and forth. I enjoyed it for a little bit, but it got old pretty quickly. But they were just showing their competitiveness and how badly they wanted to do (well) out there. They weren't just yelling at each other for show. They were already competing so hard at such a young age and wanted to do so well. That's why they came back to the bench yelling at each other.»

Patrick Kane:

We obviously played together a lot. Even there's times today if we're out there together, he gets the puck behind the net, I kind of know certain areas to go with that where I could potentially get a chance or even just relieve some pressure and get some possession. But back in the day, it was kind of like we were put together a lot if we were down a goal or two in the third period, and you'd see us go out there for that period and try to score some goals and get us back in the game. So I think it worked pretty well too. There's always that extra energy that you get when you play with a really good player and you know you guys aren't on the same line or whatever. Even today, if there's a shift or two we get here or there, it boosts your energy, for sure.

Viktor Stalberg:

It was never in a bad way. He was nice about it. It was just like, «what are you doing?» You know, like asking pretty much like, «why are you doing that?» Like, «ah, sorry, I'm not as good as you.» When I finally told him that, like, «hey, buddy, I'm just not as good as you, just realize that, I'm doing my best.» But of course, when you're young, and you're playing with the guy like that, it took me a couple of games or a couple of months to get used to it and know how to handle it and also stand up for myself in that situation, which made it a lot better. He just sees the game in one way and he expects that you also see the game in the same way, which is not the case. I was not as good as he is and not as good vision on the ice. But I think he just expects everybody else to see the same way.

Brandon Saad:

«It was an unbelievable experience. He definitely did get worked up. I think more early on in his career. But as a young guy coming in, it's something where I remember early on, you're almost like nervous at the time because just the way he's passionate about the game and he wants things to go well and things like that. So I think early on, you're a little nervous and you realize that it's nothing personal. He just has that passion for the game. I think the more I played with him, the more it kind of is infectious and kind of gets you ramped up and going a little bit. So days that you're not always on point, you know he's going to be focused and ready to go. And I think that energy branches off into his linemates and his teammates. I think it was great for my career.»

Ryan Hartman:

This story just popped in my head. It was my second or third training camp. But anyway, I pulled my groin first practice of camp. I spent the whole camp doing rehab. And the day the camp ended, right before the season started and I got sent back to the OHL or Rockford, he came up to me. He's like, «Listen, I'm sure you've done everything you think you need to do to make it be ready, but this just shows you, no matter how, you just got to stay on your stuff.» Anytime you have a soft-tissue injury, obviously, it's a lack of something else. It can be random, but everything you think you're doing, do more. You need to make sure you're ready and, obviously, you don't want an injury like that to affect your career. So that's definitely stuck with me. It was kind of eye-opening.
May 12   |   168 answers
Former Teammates of Jonathan Toews Speak on His Presence

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