Blackhawks News & Rumors: Kane, Davidson, Jones, Toews

As the Chicago Blackhawks look to snap a four-game skid, Patrick Kane trade rumblings ramp up, Jonathan Toews has started to slow down, and the club is glad to welcome Seth Jones back.

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That and more in this edition of Blackhawks News & Rumors.

Kane Reportedly Linked to Bruins

Here we go again. Another write-up that suggests Kane is on the move. Following an offseason full of these reports, those drumming them up seemingly haven’t stopped doing so. Having already been linked to what feels like most of the league, Kane’s new destination is apparently set to be the Boston Bruins.

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (Amy Irvin/The Hockey Writers)

It’s hard to imagine what the Bruins would be willing to give up at the moment, though, considering that their current makeup has them in the top spot throughout the entire league. That said, they do have several picks they might be willing to part ways with if that’s the ultimate cost for an all-star like Kane.

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However, with limited cap space at the moment, Boston would have to do some additional work to make this a plausible conversation. The reality is, even if they’re willing to part ways with one or more of their higher-paid players in the process, the Bruins would have to convince the Blackhawks to retain some salary to make this plausible. That comes with a cost, of course, which can often mean higher or additional draft picks.

Relevant to all of this is that Kane would have to agree to the relocation, first and foremost, as his no-move clause awards him that right. Would the superstar winger really want to assist a rival Original Six club like the Bruins?

That all said, while theoretically possible, it’s difficult to see a scenario wherein Kane heads to Boston. Then again, most thought Alex DeBrincat was the future of this franchise before a few draft picks convinced Kyle Davidson to dismantle that plan.

Jones Back on Chicago’s Blue Line

For a blue line that appears to be drastically outclassed of late, regardless of their opponent, Jones’ return couldn’t have come soon enough. Having missed action since Oct. 29, Caleb’s older brother is expected back in Chicago’s lineup for their No. 23 contest against the Dallas Stars.

“Anytime you’re not out there with your teammates helping them win or helping them out there, it sucks,” Jones said. “Watching on TV, it’s pretty boring. So, I’m happy to be at least traveling again.”

Out for nearly a month, we’ll have to wait to see if Jones displays any level of unwanted rust. Though, it’s always to the Blackhawks’ advantage to dress the veteran.

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Being that they are currently second-last in goals for, infusing a dynamic defenseman like Jones back into their mix could offer an immediate offensive lift. Either way, at minimum, Chicago knows they can count on Jones to manage a team-high in minutes the rest of the way.

Seth Jones, Chicago Blackhawks
Seth Jones, Chicago Blackhawks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Having the ability to spread out their playing time in a more efficient manner will surely help offer some welcomed relief to their strained defensive strategy.

Toews Production Dips After Hot Start

After tallying 10 points through his first 13 games of 2022-23, there’s no denying that Toews appeared like the consistent producer he was known as during his prime. A welcomed sight for the franchise, following a 2021-22 season that included anything but offense from their captain.

Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks (Amy Irvin/The Hockey Writers)

That said, Toews has cooled down from that hot start, having only accumulated one goal and one assist in Chicago’s past five. Unsurprisingly, the Blackhawks’ overall results directly align, as they are 1-4-0 in that stretch. They’ve quickly gone from surprising skeptics to playing like the rebuild that they truly are.

The reality is, it’s unfair to place such lofty expectations on a 34-year-old Toews at this point in his career. He’s clearly not playing at the peak he once was, which is an anticipated and natural regression for a professional athlete. However, that effective start does provide some otherwise unexpected optimism. A positive showing that could work wonders in influencing those developing around him.

Plus, the centreman is still succeeding at his main function with a faceoff percentage of 64.0. If he can maintain that impact, it will set a new career high. That says a lot, seeing as how Toews has continually excelled in that area of his game throughout his 15 years in the league. Perhaps the former Conn Smyth Trophy winner has more left in the tank than it seemed last season.

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While fans will have to wait to see if this Blackhawks squad is capable of streaking the other way any time soon, it’s important to remember that development outweighs wins for this year’s roster. To set the foundation for a more sustainable game plan moving forward, it’s to Chicago’s advantage that players like Kane, Jones, and Toews are leading the way.

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