Jonathan Toews: A key to the rebuild or an anchor?

September 6, 2022  (4:47 PM)

For the majority of his career, Jonathan Toews has been in the center of the Blackhawks' core. He's served as the captain for 14 years and is one of the only remaining players from the «One Goal» era. Those days are long gone, and the Blackhawks are now about to enter a long-term rebuild.

With players being traded and signed elsewhere, there are hardly any familiar faces remaining. The new signees are likely going to the flipped at the trade deadline if Kyle Davidson can get good enough offers, leaving the team barren. With the Blackhawks' plan to tank before rebuilding, is Toews going to help or hurt the process?
As reported by Ben Pope, neither Toews nor Patrick Kane has requested trades according to Davidson. They are both also looking forward to training camp and next season, but whether that will remain the case is unclear.
After Brandon Hagel was traded to Tampa Bay, Toews said he started to imagine playing somewhere else as the future of the Blackhawks seems uncertain. He has also told the Athletic that the idea of a five-year or longer rebuild «doesn't sound appealing» to him.
As Toews is the only person who can tell what he wants, fans are left guessing which rumors are true or false. It seems as though he's staying for now, but will he help the Hawks through their rebuild or hinder their chances of change?
After missing the 2020-2021 season due to illness, Toews has only played as a hollow shell of himself since returning. He set a new career low with 37 points (12G, 25A) in 71 games last season, and it's unlikely that he'll be able to do much better in the rebuild. If he were to stay, most of what he offers will come from inside the locker room rather than on the ice.
The idea of having him on the ice to help coach the younger players seems appealing, but the chances might be few and far between. If the Blackhawks plan on saving their younger talent for the rebuild after the tank, Toews will have to wait for the opportunity. Kane could serve the same purpose while still putting up more points.
If Toews sees the light at the end of the rebuild tunnel, then maybe his optimism and veteran experience will show on the ice. If he can't bare the tank, then there's the possibility that he'll do nothing but waste space on the roster and in the cap. We won't know how Toews will do next season until it actually starts, and anything up until then is just speculation.
Jonathan Toews: A key to the rebuild or an anchor?

Will Jonathan Toews help or hurt the rebuild?

He's the key to success!4223 %
The man is done for.5831.7 %
Only time will tell...8345.4 %
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