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.
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."
A statement from Captain Jonathan Toews ❤️ pic.twitter.com/tn7CP57bQN
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 19, 2023
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.
Davidson on Toews: "It has been an ongoing thing. It started previous to the All-Star break. It’s not something that just came up. We [have been] dealing with it alongside him for some time now."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 19, 2023
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.
Davidson was asked whether he'd consider re-signing Kane and Toews.
"I think those are discussions that remain to be had. I think that’s a two-way street and it’s something we’ll get to once we figure out where we’re at on March 4."
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) February 19, 2023
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.