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Shocker in Chicago: Toews Headed to Big Apple



Even if the rumors about potential trade discussions were out there these past few weeks, no one really believed the Chicago Blackhawks would actually move Jonathan Toews. He's their captain. How could they?

And then they did.

The Hawks shipped their now-former captain to the New York Rangers on Thursday night in what now becomes a weirdly fitting "circle of life" moment. Chicago acquired Steven Stamkos from the Rangers roughly two years ago, who they then moved to the Los Angeles Kings for Toews a month later. Now, Toews is going to New York.

Small world.

The Blackhawks did pick up an impressive package for Toews, as one would expect. Coming to Chicago is veteran center Jeff Carter, who's coming off a disappointing NHL campaign but provided 68 points for St. Louis in the EHE last year. He has two seasons left with a $7.25 million cap hit in each of those years and will be counted on to help fill some of the offensive gap left by Toews' absence.

19-year-old center Joe Veleno, a quick-skating former first-round pick, is also coming to the Windy City. Veleno led the QMJHL last season with 104 points in 59 regular-season games and is expected to compete for a spot in the NHL this year. He was selected 16th overall in the 2018 EHE Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals.

Also acquired was Victor Mete, a 21-year-old speedy defenseman who has 120 NHL games to his credit already with 20 assists and a plus-22 rating. One would expect him to compete for a spot in Chicago this season despite a semi-logjam of capable defensemen already assembled.

Chicago also received a third-round selection in the 2020 Entry Draft, while sending a fifth-round pick in the same draft to the Rangers.

Toews, who was franchise tagged just last season, leaves a two-year legacy of unfinished business behind in Chicago. Brought in to be the old familiar face of the franchise, Toews himself was dominating to the tune of 71 goals, 102 assists, and 173 points in 164 regular-season games. The Hawks could not get past the first round of the playoffs either season, though, something that may have put some justification into the head of Hawks GM Thomas Gidlow when making this deal.

There will be quotes and press conferences, no doubt. Spin about how this "maintains the present and bolsters the future". That very well may be true - in time. But at least for this night, no words can express what Hawks fans must be thinking.

Time will tell. As it always does.

Chip Whitley
Hawks Beat Reporter

Joe Tremblay

Nice article! A new era seems to be in Chicago.

Shocker in Chicago: Toews Headed to Big Apple
Offseason turns on its head as Gidlow ships out his captain

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