With his long list of accomplishments so far in his NHL career, it is hard to believe that Jonathan Toews is only 28-years old. He recently became a member of the ultra-exclusive “Quadruple Gold Club” after his World Cup of Hockey 2016 win with Team Canada, yet there is so much more to Toews than what is seen on a surface level.
Here are five things to know about one of the NHL’s brightest stars:
1. Toews Is Determined to Use His Fame to Spread a Positive Message
Toews is one of the most recognizable names in the NHL and it has been that way for nearly a decade, yet little is known about his life outside of hockey. This changed in early 2016 when he became active on Twitter and later on Instagram. Through social media, Toews discusses his passion for fitness, positive thinking, healthy eating (even going as far as growing his own food) and discussing climate change. Toews also hopes to show the humorous side of his personality while helping to spread a positive message. As Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times notes:
Toews knows that an occasional funny tweet won’t rid him of the Captain Serious label — a nickname he’s never loved, even though he admits that side of him exists. And he knows he won’t change the world with an occasional Instagram post. But he’s hoping he can coax a few laughs, open a few minds, and let the world see the real Jonathan Toews from time to time.
2. He Has Always Been a Perfectionist
Toews’ father, Bryan, built a hockey rink in their backyard in a Winnipeg suburb when he was only three years old. He often played with his brother and friends as a child, and today friends of the family recall that Toews has always been a perfectionist and that is what makes him so successful. In the 2015 Stanley Cup Victory Film, “Hat Trick”, his family and friends discussed his success:
3. Toews and Crosby Rivalry Originated Before the NHL
The debate over whether or not Toews is a better captain than Sidney Crosby has been going on for nearly a decade and will probably span the rest of their careers, maybe even several years afterward. It is incredibly rare to have such talented and well-rounded players, and to have them both play at the same time is a treat for all NHL fans to enjoy. What many do not know is Toews and Crosby met in high school when they both played for Shattuck-Saint Mary’s in Minnesota. Although the two never played at the same time, both served as stars of the team and were drafted one year apart from each other in the NHL. The rivalry appears to be exclusively on the ice, for both Toews and Crosby
Both were stars on the team and were drafted into the NHL one year apart. The rivalry appears to be exclusively on the ice, for both Toews and Crosby have nothing but positive things to say about each other off the ice.
4. He Caught the Eye of Childhood Idol Steve Yzerman
When Toews began his NHL career in 2007, choosing 19 as his number was not a tough decision since Steve Yzerman was his childhood idol. Yzerman is currently the General Manager for Tampa Bay and was thoroughly impressed with Toews when Chicago beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals. Yzerman went as far as saying he believes Toews is simply “just a better hockey player” than he ever was.
5. He Is Determined to Make the 2016-17 Season His Best
Toews took advantage of a longer offseason after the Blackhawks were eliminated by St Louis in the first round of the playoffs. He used the extra time to relax and train so he can come back in the 2016-17 season better than ever. When asked how his offseason was going, Toews told the Chicago Tribune:
“It couldn’t be any better. The physical part of it is huge, but I think also mentally it’s nice the first month or two to get away from the game and do something else. And when you come back to the rink and get back in the gym, (you can) just be excited about it and really have that mental energy, that motivation that just comes naturally.”
The Blackhawks start the season against the St. Louis Blues on October 12 looking to capture their fourth Stanley Cup since 2010.
Illinois State University graduate and lifelong Chicago Blackhawks fan. I also write for The Odyssey at Illinois State and Fans Talk Sports. Other than hockey, I love to write historical fiction and nonfiction.