Blackhawks captain and three-time Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Toews weighed in on the direction the Hawks are headed with Mark Lazerus of The Athletic Saturday evening.
Toews spoke with The Athletic after Chicago traded Brandon Saad to the Colorado Avalanche earlier on Saturday, which came days after the Hawks didn't re-sign Corey Crawford. The Blackhawks also didn't give qualifying offers to Slater Koekkoek and Drake Caggiula ahead of free agency opening up.
“Bottom line is, I want to win,” Toews told Lazerus. “The expectation for the other leaders on this team and myself is to come ready to training camp every year to be a playoff team. We prepare ourselves to win a Cup for our fans. I’ve never been told that we were going through a rebuild. That has never been communicated to me, for that matter. A lot of this comes as a shock because it’s a completely different direction than we expected.”
The 32-year-old center also commented specifically on the decision to not bring Crawford back.
“It’s sad,” Toews said. “It’s really disappointing. Crow has given so much to this team. I feel he was ready to bring more in the next few years and still be a big part of this group. He had that mindset that he could help this team go deep in the playoffs again, and there’s no doubt that he could.”
Toews also made it clear that the recent moves made by Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and co. haven't swayed his desire to remain a Hawk.
"Chicago’s my home, and I want to win here again," he said.