Toews skates around question about leadership group returning

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Jonathan Toews

    Jonathan Toews Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/1/2020 7:10 PM

Stan Bowman's coming back next season. So is Jeremy Colliton.

As is the rest of the Blackhawks' leadership group.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Team owner Rocky Wirtz said as much in two separate March interviews, and Hawks captain Jonathan Toews was asked for his thoughts on the subject during a 30-minute video conference produced by the NHL Tuesday afternoon.

(Earlier requests to speak with Wirtz, Bowman, Colliton or team president John McDonough were denied.)

Toews deftly deked the question, saying it's up to the leadership group to get the most out of themselves and the most out of the group. He continued by talking about how injuries to veterans like Calvin de Haan, Andrew Shaw and Brent Seabrook "definitely hurt us."

Toews then struck an optimistic tone by adding: "We've got some young players that are learning and getting better really quickly. We showed a lot of signs this year -- even if we weren't sitting in a playoff spot right now -- that we're right on the edge.

"I mean we had (a lead) over St. Louis in their own building, but we found ways to blow it. It's just that experience in playing against the top teams and getting back to that level ... to be a playoff contender."

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The second part of the NHL's video conference Q&A with Toews, St. Louis' Alex Pietrangelo and Nashville's Roman Josi concludes today with three hockey-related questions.

• • •

Q: With no team facilities available, how are you working out?

Pietrangelo: The hardest part for me is the unknown of when we're actually going to start. You're trying to train as if you're going to play, but nobody really knows what's going to happen. So you're not trying to overdo it and you're trying to take a break.

It's more just a timeline we need just so we can figure out what's going to happen -- whether it's play or not.

Toews: The season just turned on a dime just like that (after the Hawks beat San Jose on March 11). ... (I) didn't have that motivation the first four or five days. Since then (I've) kind of gotten back (to) riding the bike and thinking, 'Hey, at some point this has to wrap up. We've got to go back to our normal lives.' Just not sure when that is. Hopefully it's sooner rather than later.

Q: How are you keeping your teams together?

Toews, smiling: I can't really mention too much with what's going on with the group chat(s). But there's some pretty popular memes that you guys have probably seen and those are definitely going around. A couple laughs with guys trying to entertain themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Q: What is the thing you miss the least about playing against the other two guys on this call:

Pietrangelo: Well, (Josi) seems like he's always scoring against us. ... And Johnny's just a pain in the (butt) to play against. I battled a lot with these two guys, more so Johnny because he's a forward. We've had a lot of battles. He's a pain.

But you know what? You've got to welcome those battles. I think right now we miss those battles. We could probably use a few of those battles against each other.

Toews: I remember being on the same team as (Pietrangelo) in Toronto for the World Cup. (I had) to stand in front of the net one time and he's letting one rip and I thought it was aimed right at my chin. But somehow it whistled right by my chin, top shelf. ...

Like Alex said, there's some great battles in the corners and all over the ice. We've had some great playoff series against each other over the years too and there's been some hatred.

But I mean that's what the game's all about. So at this point, the fans are missing it, we're missing it and obviously we want life to go back to what we're used to.

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