Dec 30, 2011; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates scoring a penalty shot goal against the Detroit Red Wings during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

Beyond the 'C': The Story of Jonathan Toews

April 21, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) in game five of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Jobing.com Arena. The Blackhawks beat the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

 

On this Independence Day, I figured I would write about a captain from an All-American city, Chicago. Happy 4th of July everybody in America, and a happy belated Canada day to the Canadian readers.

AGE

24

HEIGHT

6’2”

WEIGHT

208 lbs.

POSITION

Center

DRAFTED

3rd   Overall in 2006

The journey continues now onto the next captain, Jonathan Toews. This man was the third youngest captain in the league at the age of 20. He is not only a striker, but a playmaker. He can set up the goals as well as bury them into the net. He is an all-around great forward. He is the best fit player to lead the Blackhawks, which he proved to be when he won the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe in the same year. In doing so, he became the youngest player (held by Peter Forsberg) to join the Triple Gold Club. This is “Beyond the ‘C’: The Story of Jonathan Toews.

Jonathan Toews had very knowledgeable parents. His father, Bryan Toews, was an electrician at the University of Manitoba. His mother, Andrée Gilbert, is a Quebec native who was the managing director and finance expert for a credit union in Winnipeg, before retiring to oversee Jonathan’s media relations. In 2011, a replica of his cup ring was placed in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada. His parents were there for the presentation and had a few nice things to say about the presentation.

“It’s such a surprise,” said his mother, Andrée Gilbert, who found out Friday. “I’ve never dreamed of anything like this before. We’re pretty proud.”

“It’s just totally surreal,” Toews’ father, Bryan, said. “We came for a brief half-hour visit one time when we were in town. We just had a short visit and got a picture with him with the Cup at 13 years old.” “To come back here eight, nine years later and see stuff from my Jonathan, it’s kind of surreal that, ‘Wow, he’s in this Hall of Fame.’ In Canada, it’s almost like a temple or church. It’s very proud moments for us.” (http://www.suntimes.com/sports/hockey/4160308-419/toews-parents-ring-up-special-moment.html)

I personally have a great appreciation for the first goal of a young player’s career. It tells you a lot about how they play the game. This is one of my favorite stories. The Chicago Blackhawks are playing against the San Jose Sharks. Jonathan Toews gets a pass, takes it, and scores. Sounds ordinary, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. It wasn’t just his first goal. It was his first shot of his first NHL game. To me this is great. If you can score on your first shot in the big leagues, you just hit a major confidence booster in the other shots you take. This goal in particular shows that Toews is a strong, aggressive forward who is willing to shoot at the goalie, whether it goes in or not. Here is the goal that started his career.

Editor’s Corner:

Greg Boysen, editor of Blackhawk Up, Fansided site for the Chicago Blackhawks, sent me a paragraph of his thoughts on Jonathan Toews as captain. He is very supportive of his captain and his team. Here is what he had to say.

“Tazer is the perfect player to be a captain. I couldn’t imagine anyone else wearing the C on the Hawks. He leads by example on the ice an off as well. He hates to lose and works very heard at his game always trying to improve and is never satisfied. He has become very involved in the community as well which is a big part of being a captain. He is a true role model unlike his buddy # 88. He will go down as one of the greatest captains in the history of one of the most storied hockey teams ever. I look forward to reading your piece.” I think he hits the nail on the head. Jonathan Toews is a leader, and the best fit for the captaincy in Chicago.

But even Toews couldn’t break the law like most celebrities think they can. I’m not saying that Toews thought he could beat the law, but he did lose to the law. In January of 2007, Jonathan and former teammate T. J. Oshie received alcohol related citations for being at a tavern as minors. The two plead guilty and were placed on probation and did community service work. I think these two had learned their lesson. Kids who want to jump into adulthood too quickly make dumb decisions, and this happened to be one of them.

Not only was he the youngest member to join the Triple Gold Club, but he has a lot more to brag about. He was runner-up for the Calder Memorial Trophy which many of you know as the Rookie of the Year award. He lost it to his teammate Patrick Kane due to an injury. .  Jonathan was put on EASports’ NHL 11 cover; just one year after Patrick Kane was on it (NHL 10). This was the first time two teammates were featured on the game cover in two consecutive years. He led the Chicago Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup in 49 years in 2010. This little story may lead off topic, but it is something I’m relating to the Cup win. As a Detroit fan, I loved watching the Red Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final in 2008. And when we signed Marian Hossa from the Pens, I thought we would for sure beat them again. But when we lost, and Hossa cried on the bench, I realized the worst luck he had. When he went to Chicago, I was a little angry. I realized that karma had come back around and Hossa got to lift the Stanley Cup finally, after 2 previous failures. That’s the moment I remember from the 2010 Stanley Cup.

From the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago, there is a mural of Toews with a misshaped nose and mouth standing next to the Stanley Cup. This received much notoriety as you could imagine. Here is a link to the portrait, which isn’t a badly made portrait. It is really a piece of art.

After winning the Stanley Cup, when he returned to his hometown of Winnipeg, the town named a lake after him for leading his team to a Stanley Cup Championship. I think this is a great honor. How many people can say they had a lake named after them? I’m gonna go ahead and guess: not too many.

AWARDS

World Junior All-Star Team

2007

Nominated Calder Memorial Trophy

2008

NHL All-Star Captain

2009, 2011, 2012

Best Forward-Winter Olympics

2010

Conn Smythe Trophy

2010

Stanley Cup Champion

2010

Closing Argument:

Jonathan Toews is the man for the job. He can lead a team as well as he can play hockey, extremely good. He is the only one on the Blackhawks squad that can lead this city to a great playoff run. I think they will have another Stanley Cup final appearance while they are led by Toews. It’s only a matter of time before we see him lift the cup again.

That’s it for The Story of Jonathan Toews in this series. Next we head back to Canada to look at the Montreal Canadiens front-runner Brian Gionta. Thank you for reading this and make sure you check back Friday to read about Gionta. Chirp at me on the Twitter and tell me what you think of Jonathan Toews.

@NardoneDylan

Tags: Captain Serious Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews Montreal Canadiens NHL

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