The longtime captain of the Blackhawks had two things to say on social media on Thursday – one saying thanks to his former team and the other his intention for the 2023-2024 season.
On Instagram on Thursday, Toews posted a lengthy thank you to the Blackhawks along with their fans four months after taking the ice with the franchise for the final time. Hours later, he announced on the social media platform that he was not retiring, but rather stepping away from the NHL for the 2023-2024 season.
The Blackhawks announced before the season finale that a contract extension would not be offered to the captain, who has spent his entire NHL career with the franchise. Toews is a free agent, but won’t sign anywhere this offseason.
Earlier in the day on Instagram, Toews had one last thank you for the Blackhawks and Chicago in a video post on the social media platform.
Drafted by the Blackhawks with the third overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, Toews played 15 seasons with the team, missing only the pandemic-shortened 2021 campaign due to illness. Named the captain early in his tenure with the team, Toews was a big part of the resurrection of the franchise that had struggled for a decade.
With the captain leading the way, the Blackhawks made nine-straight playoff appearances and won the Stanley Cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015. In that first championship run, he was named the Conn Smythe trophy winner for Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP, later winning the Frank Selke Trophy in 2013 for best defensive forward along with the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2015.
Toews finished with 372 goals and 511 assists in 1,067 career regular season games while scoring 45 goals with 74 assists in 137 contests.