Should Bruins Be In On Jonathan Toews At Reported Price?

The big question is whether he wants to leave Chicago

by

January 19

It’s hard to imagine Jonathan Toews wearing any jersey other than a Chicago Blackhawks sweater. However, if he and the team decide that’s best for their respective business, we could be looking at the final days in the Windy City for the longtime captain.

Toews is in the final season of his contract, and the Blackhawks continue to sputter. The March 3 NHL trade deadline is about six weeks away, and some difficult decisions will be made in the lead-up to that day. If Toews wants to chase another Stanley Cup and is open to playing for a team other than Chicago, it might make sense for the Blackhawks to move him as part of an ongoing rebuild.

The same could also be said for longtime teammate Patrick Kane, though the winger is currently injured adding even more uncertainty to his future.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Thursday talked about all of the considerations being made in Chicago, and it sounds like there’s a very real chance they consider a move.

“I think the Blackhawks maybe want to move on,” the insider told Matt Marchese on “The Jeff Marek Show” on Thursday. “Now, I think both of those guys would consider staying, but I’m not sure that’s what the organization wants to do. So, we’ll let this play out and see where it goes.”

Assuming the Blackhawks proceed, the price to acquire Toews might strike some as relatively cheap. Friedman said Chicago is seeking a second- or third-round pick, according to general managers he has spoken to recently.

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Toews no longer is the game-changing talent he was earlier in his career, but no player in the league has a more impressive winning pedigree. To say he is battle-tested is an understatement. For a team like the Bruins, adding Toews for the stretch run would mean their top three lines would be centered by Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Toews. That’s 360 games’ worth of playoff experience just among those three, a move that would further cement the Black and Gold as the cream of the crop in the NHL.

While the cost to acquire and fit aren’t major issues for a team like the Bruins, the financial aspect is. Most of Toews’ $84 million has already been paid, but he still carries a cap hit of $10.5 million. The Bruins, for example, have little cap room to finagle a deal. That means the Blackhawks would have to absorb half of the cap hit, and teams might even need to involve a third team to facilitate a deal.

“There’s a lot of (cap space involved), but by NHL standards, there’s not a lot of money because they (Toews and Kane) both had big bonuses this year, so a lot of their salary this year is already paid,” Friedman explained. “But, yes, I do think in both cases, there might need to be a third team involved.”

As for a potential market, Friedman pointed to teams like Colorado, Edmonton or Winnipeg potentially being involved. Last month, The Fourth Period reported the Bruins were among a handful of teams that checked in on Toews, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them get involved.

(H/t NHLTradeRumors.me)

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Thumbnail photo via Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports Images
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