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updated: 2/29/2012 8:25 PM

Hawks' Toews should consider shutting it down

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  • The Blackhawks have to be extremely careful with the return of team captain Jonathan Toews.

       The Blackhawks have to be extremely careful with the return of team captain Jonathan Toews.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 

It's a question no one wants to ponder, but it's one that has to be asked:

Should the Blackhawks consider shutting down Jonathan Toews for the rest of the season?

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If you know anything about Toews, you also know his answer would be, "Not a chance."

But Toews has already missed five games, having played perhaps as many as six games with a suspected concussion.

His last game was 10 days ago and his symptoms have not subsided to the point where he can skate. Toews did some off-ice training Wednesday, riding the stationary bike, but that can mean very little when it comes to recovering from a concussion.

"He was doing a little bit of that (off-ice training) today," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said Wednesday. "Today is no change from (Tuesday). Hopefully he can get going and we can get him back on the ice."

Clearly, the Hawks are in trouble without Toews and maybe even risk missing the playoffs, but the long-term implications for Toews and the Hawks are more serious than one playoff run.

Sidney Crosby took hits to the head in back-to-back games last season and has since played only eight games in 14 months.

After the second hit on Jan. 5, 2011, Crosby missed the rest of the season and the playoffs. He skipped the first 20 games this season and returned Nov. 21 to put up 12 points in eight games. But his concussion-like symptoms returned in December after he took an elbow to the head, and he has been out again since Dec. 5.

The 24-year-old Crosby has passed all his tests and is skating again, but he said last week he will "listen to his body'' and won't return until he's certain he's ready.

Toews is only 23. He's got a chance to be the Hawks' captain for another 10 or 15 years.

If he comes back this season opposing teams will target him, especially in the postseason when they know the Hawks without Toews would be a much easier team to beat.

Risking his health and career for this stretch run and postseason just doesn't make a lot of sense.

Compensation

Red Sox owner John Henry said this week that his first conversations with Cubs owner Tom Ricketts about Theo Epstein compensation led to the disagreement that took four months to solve.

"I think there was a basic misunderstanding between Tom Ricketts and I when we first spoke about it," Henry told Boston reporters. "We probably had a misunderstanding, at least as far as expectations.

"There was no real agreement. The best way to explain it is we probably had different expectations based on our first conversation as to what would transpire."

So Henry knew he had the Cubs over a barrel, and instead of holding them up for a monster prospect, he simply let Epstein go without a deal in place.

Worked out well for the Cubs, but terrible mismanagement by the Red Sox.

The good cause

The Bulls, Blackhawks and White Sox host the second annual Home Team Charity Run on April 22, with a portion of the proceeds from the race shared equally among their respective charities.

The event includes 5K and 10K races and will start and finish at U.S. Cellular Field, with the 10K course finishing on the warning track near home plate. A post-run festival will take place on the ballpark grounds.

For more info, visit hometeamcharityrun.org.

The quote

Oft-injured Twins reliever Joel Zumaya, after blowing out his elbow this week: "I'm a pretty dang good fisherman, so I might pursue professional fishing."

On the green

NBC's Jay Leno: "It's being reported that after Tiger Woods' ex-wife, Elin, bought a $12 million mansion in Florida, she had it demolished. Here's the amazing part: She did it with a 9-iron."

Best headline

Sportspickle.com: "Pointless exhibition apparently a major insight into LeBron James' psyche."

And finally …

NBC's Jimmy Fallon: "There was apparently an electrical fire at Fenway Park. It was weird because instead of calling 911, Boston fans just heckled the fire until it left."

brozner@dailyherald.com

•Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM, and follow him @BarryRozner on Twitter.

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