Toews says shocked at Blackhawks’ direction: report

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Jonathan Toews said he was surprised the Chicago Blackhawks were making big changes to their roster with an emphasis on young players replacing key veterans.

“I was never told we were going to have a rebuild,” Toews told The Athletic on Saturday. “It was never communicated to me, by the way. Much of it is a shock as it is a completely different direction than we expected. “Toews’ comments came the same day forward Brandon Saad was traded to the Colorado Avalanche and a day after the goalie Corey Crawford signed a two-year, $ 7.8 million (average annual value of $ 3.9 million) contract with the New Jersey Devils as a free agent.

Saad, 27, a two-time Stanley Cup winner for the Blackhawks (2013, 2015), was third in Chicago with 21 goals last season. Crawford, 35, also won the Cup in 2013 and 2015.

” It’s sad. It’s really disappointing, ”Toews said. ” [Crawford] gave so much to this team. I think he was ready to bring more in the next few years and still be a part of this group. He had this mindset that he could help this team deepen the playoffs again, and there is no doubt he could. ”

The Blackhawks made the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season for the first time since 2016-17. They were the 12th seed in the best of 5 Stanley Cup playoffs and defeated the 5 seeded Edmonton Oilers in four games before losing the best of 7 opening rounds in the West in five games against the Vegas Golden Knights. .

Malcolm Subban, a 26-year-old goaltender who agreed to a two-year, $ 1.7 million contract on Friday, is now Chicago’s most experienced player in the post with 66 NHL games (60 starts) for the Blackhawks, the Golden Knights and the Boston Bruins. Collin Delia, 26, has played 18 games in the NHL (16 starts). Kevin Lankinen, 25, has yet to make his NHL debut.

Although Toews, who is 32, and Patrick Kane, who turns 32 on Nov. 19 and led the Blackhawks with 84 points (33 goals, 51 assists) last season, remain the offensive focal points, Chicago is also looking for young forwards to play big roles. Alex DeBrincat, who turns 23 on December 18, has scored 41 goals in 2018-19. Cuban dominic, 25, on Friday agreed to a two-year, $ 7.4 million contract. He led the NHL rookies with 30 goals and was third in voting for the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year.

Toews, whose eight-year contract signed on July 9, 2014, spans the 2022-23 season, has said he does not want to be traded. He has scored 815 points (345 goals, 470 assists) in 943 games, all with the Blackhawks, winning the Stanley Cup three times (2010, 2013 and 2015).

“I was not part of this conversation,” he says. “It all happened quite suddenly, but the answer is no. Chicago is my home, and I want to win here again. ”

Tweet from @MarkLazerus: EXCLUSIVE: Jonathan Toews about being caught off guard by the Blackhawks, the sudden move to a full rebuild, and what that might mean for the Core Four going forward. Additionally, more information on the growing disconnect between players and management: Story: https://t.co/Bo268Ljbrc pic.twitter.com/qex4d1W1p5



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