Jonathan Toews Announces Plans, Posts Goodbye Letter

Speculation has been rampant this summer about the playing future of former three-time Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Toews. He said today that he is taking some time away from hockey, likely for the entire coming season, but is not yet fully retiring. Long Covid left him a shell of his former self for the past two years and he still needs time to recover. 

One thing we do know for certain is that he will not be back with the Chicago Blackhawks, who have bid adieu to Toews and the rest of the old guard, as they usher in a new era led by Connor Bedard.

Today, Toews officially acknowledged the end of his Blackhawks career, by penning a heartfelt goodbye and thank you to the city and its fans. 

"It’s hard to find words to describe the 16-year journey that has made this city my home," Toews wrote. 

"Aside from the 3 Stanley Cups, the parades, and the countless memories made with my teammates, what is still most special to me was feeling a true connection to the people of this city." 

"To Blackhawks fans, it was surreal to witness and be a part of the revival of hockey in Chicago. There was nothing like the roar of the Madhouse when we scored a big goal to tie it or win it late in a game. As players, we tried to reciprocate that heart and soul energy we felt from you. I honestly believe it’s what made us so tough to beat in the later games of a playoff series. You are the best fans in the world, and I’m so thankful we shared so many special moments together.

"To the Blackhawks Organization, the late Rocky, Danny and the Wirtz family, all of my coaches, GM’s, athletic and equipment trainers, strength coaches, scouting staff and all those that put it all together. It is not lost on me that all the work you do behind the scenes leads to all of our success on the ice. You showed up every day to help all of us achieve our dreams and for that I am forever grateful.

"To my Blackhawks teammates, I consider you all lifelong friends and brothers. We share a bond that’s hard to break. Whether you reach the mountain top or not, we can all agree it’s grinding through the tough moments together that we’ll really miss.

"To all of you I say, THANK YOU. You made my time here in Chicago unforgettable."

And he signed it, "Tazer."

The 35-year-old also won the Selke Trophy in 2013 and the Conn Smythe in 2010. He spent 15 years in Chicago, and totaled 372 goals and 511 assists for 883 points in 1,067 games as a Blackhawk.

As a free agent, his future will remain uncertain for now. 

Photo: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports