Blackhawks won't trade Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane decision looms

Toews revealed that symptoms of Long Covid and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome have kept him out of the lineup in recent weeks.

The Chicago Blackhawks announced that they’re unlikely to trade Jonathan Toews, as the team’s captain is dealing with symptoms related to Long COVID and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome.

Toews, 34, hasn’t played since Jan. 28. Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson noted that the team hopes Toews can play again this season, although the centre has stopped skating for the time being.

While there’s some short-term clarity about Toews, the Blackhawks remain in a holding pattern with Patrick Kane.

Jonathan Toews will be staying put in Chicago at the trade deadline after announcing that he's been suffering from Long Covid. (Getty Images)
Jonathan Toews will be staying put in Chicago at the trade deadline after announcing that he's been suffering from Long Covid. (Getty Images)

Toews shines light on health struggles

Toews released the following statement through the Blackhawks on Sunday.

"First of all, thank you to the fans and all those who have shown concern about my absence. I’m still dealing with the symptoms of Long COVID and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome.

"It has been really challenging to play through these symptoms. In the last few weeks, it has reached the point where I had no choice but to step back and concentrate on getting healthy. I am thankful for the patience and support of my teammates, the coaching staff, and the entire Blackhawks organization."

As you may recall, Toews missed the entire 2020-21 season dealing with symptoms related to COVID. The Blackhawks emphasized that this is something the player and team have been trying to deal with for a while.

Along with expressing some hope that Toews could play again this season, Davidson noted that the Blackhawks haven’t ruled out the possibility of re-signing Toews or Patrick Kane.

Blackhawks expect clarity about possible Kane trade soon

While the March 3 trade deadline is rapidly approaching, the ball is in Patrick Kane’s court. Kane, 34, possesses a no-movement clause. That power helped explain why it was so noteworthy that Kane expressed disappointment that the Rangers traded for Vladimir Tarasenko, taking themselves out of the race to bring him to the Big Apple.

So, the Blackhawks just hope that Kane gives them more clarity “soon.”

If nothing else, the delay allows the trade market to thin out. Tarasenko’s already off the market, and Bo Horvat got scooped up as well. While Timo Meier figures to be the most prominent forward, the Sharks appear keen on landing a haul of assets for Meier. Despite Kane’s name value, might he draw more attention if Chicago simply asks for less?

It would certainly help matters if Kane would accept a trade to multiple locations, but that’s his choice.

Chances are, there are plenty of Blackhawks fans dreading the day Kane wears a different jersey. Those fans can at least take some comfort that Toews isn’t being traded.

It’s unclear whether Toews will be able to play for the Blackhawks or any other team again, but for now, he’s at least not suiting up for someone else in 2022-23.