Toews Update, Hutton Extension & More News

Blackhawks’ Toews Is Day to Day

The Chicago Blackhawks may be without Jonathan Toews when they take on the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. The Blackhawks captain is questionable to play against the Ducks and considered day to day, according to head coach Joel Quenneville.

Toews left after the second period of play in the Blackhawks’ 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. It is currently unknown how he suffered the upper-body injury, but news that it ‘isn’t serious’ is a sigh of relief for a Blackhawks team that has lost three of their last five games during their current seven-game road trip.

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Joel Quenneville (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

The Blackhawks are 13-6-2 and in first place in the Central Division but rely heavily upon Toews as the team’s first line center.

Toews has registered four goals and eight assists in 21 games this season and leads the league with 292 faceoff wins. ‘Captain Serious’ is often lauded for his leadership on and off the ice, and has been a key contributor to the team’s three Stanley Cup victories in the past seven seasons.

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

Quenneville spoke about the important role Toews plays for the Blackhawks, after the team’s practice on Thursday.

“Johnny’s importance to our team is immense,” Quenneville said, according to Chris Hine at the Chicago Tribune. “They’re all important minutes when he’s out on the ice. It’s all situations that he plays, all key situations. There’s a lot of ice time and a lot of quality ice time if there’s not Johnny Toews in your lineup.”

The Blackhawks will make an announcement about Toews’ status sometime Friday before game time.

Hutton Signs 2-Year Extension

The Vancouver Canucks signed defenseman Ben Hutton to a two-year contract extension, the team announced on Thursday. The deal is worth a reported $2.8 million per season and keeps the blueliner from becoming a restricted free agent this summer.

Ben Hutton
Ben Hutton (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

The 23-year-old blueliner is in his second season with the Canucks after being selected by the organization 147th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Hutton made his NHL debut in 2015-16 and skated in 75 games, registering 25 points and 14 penalty minutes. This season he has tallied four points in 20 games and is averaging 21:02 of ice time per game — second on the Canucks to defenseman Alexander Edler with 24:39.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning spoke to the media about the role Hutton plays on the blue line and for the future of the Canucks, shortly after the team announced Hutton’s contract extension.

The Canucks are 8-10-2 and in sixth place in the Pacific Division with 18 points. They return to action against the Dallas Stars on Friday.

Odds and Ends

— The Columbus Blue Jackets recalled forward Justin Scott from the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters on Friday, which would have put the Blue Jackets roster at 24 players. However, forward Matt Calvert was placed on the injured reserve.

— Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo is known for his puck stopping abilities on the ice, but is also notorious for being one of the funniest athletes on social media under his Twitter handle @Strombone. Loungo was at it again Thursday, after Aretha Franklin sung a nice, but longer, rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner, before a National Football League game between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions.

— Ben Bishop made headlines earlier this season when the Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender lost a couple of teeth after blocking a shot by Toronto Maple Leafs forward Peter Holland that snuck through the cage of his mask on Oct. 25.  The cooking staff at Amalie Arena poked fun at the incident, as they helped Bishop celebrate his 30th birthday upon return from the team’s five-game road trip.