CHICAGO — Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews might soon be hanging up his skates.
Citing two separate sources, Jon Dietz of The Daily Herald reports "Toews is seriously considering retiring after the season."
Toews hasn't played since Jan. 28, and released a statement on Feb. 19 saying he's dealing with long-COVID symptoms and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome.
"It has been really challenging to play through these symptoms," Toews said. "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."
This latest setback came after Toews missed the entire 2020-21 season due to both illnesses.
"We all know the type of competitor Jonathan Toews is," said Locked on Blackhawks host Jack Bushman. "He's voiced his frustrations over the Blackhawks rebuild numerous times to the media. He wants to be out there, he wants to be competing, but it just feels his body isn't really giving him any options at this point."
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Toews appeared in 46 games for the Blackhawks this season, recording a very respectable 14 goals and 14 assists. That goal total was more than he managed in 71 games last season.
He captained the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup wins earlier in his career (2010, 2013, 2015), and was the youngest captain in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
At that time, though, the Blackhawks mishandled allegations of sexual assault, and Toews would later back the organization before apologizing to Kyle Beach.
Toews also won a Selke Trophy, and two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada.
Dietz added, "Toews deserves to be saluted one last time, so if he has made up his mind to retire then you'd hope it unfolds like this: He holds a news conference to announce the decision and (assuming he's healthy) says he will play in the final home game on April 13."
Whether or not it's the end for Toews, there's already been a changing of the guard in Chicago, with Patrick Kane having been traded to the New York Rangers last month.