A fifteen minute or so sit down that yielded a couple of quotes that made my ears perk up and my heart sink.
1) "...maybe moving on is the best thing for everyone"--Jonathan Toews
Well, I think this is the first time either 19 or 88 has said it so bluntly. At least that I can remember. I don't really blame him for wanting out. It's been a long and miserable eight years here. This entire era of their contracts has been at best frustrating and at worst disgusting. When you're stuck in a spot that isn't working for a variety of reasons I think it natural to look out at other places and think about how green their grass is. I wish it wasn't this way. I wish it wasn't the end. I wish Jonny wanted to be dedicated towards getting the most out of this group and being part of the solution, but it's tough when the org has sent crystal clear messages that what they want and need is Bedard.
2) The question from Charlie was about being a mentor to the younger guys...Toews went on a rant about what it was like being a young captain. I don't know if he wasn't really paying attention or didn't want to give an answer about mentorship, but what he said had nothing to do with the question. Him being named captain before the 2008-09 season was certainly a unique experience and he gave a good answer...to a question he wasn't asked.
I wonder if that was a side step because he genuinely doesn't have an interest in being a mentor. I can't speak to whether he is or isn't a mentor to young players. I will say that I know for a fact that Kane has been. Hartman, Schmaltz, and Hinostroza used to train with him in the summers. Anyone who has been to the prospect camp or any skates at 5th/3rd over the last 5-6 years has seen Kane on the ice with his skills coach and Debrincat.
I think too much has been made about Toews' decline. He's not what he was 10 years ago, but if you're team making a playoff push you could do a lot worse for your #2 center than Jonathan Toews. 24 points in 40 games for a BRUTAL team. Maybe he would be more motivated actually see where his ceiling is as a player at age 35 if he felt it mattered to the team's success. Similar situation to Kane, but if Toews wants to go to Boston or Colorado or some place like that who could really use his services, then the Blackhawks should accommodate. My gut says the return will be underwhelming because the shine is off his name and teams will know that the buyer has all the leverage. Seeing Toews in the playoffs while getting a meager 2nd round pick will hurt, but maybe it's best for everyone involved, as Toews said.