According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was one of two players on the NHLPA's Executive Board to vote against the NHL and NHLPA's Collective Bargaining Agreement extension — ratified by both parties on July 10 — which included the league's Return To Play plan.
Toews is one of 31 players that make up the NHLPA's Executive Board. Each team has a player representative.
"I have been told by many, many, many players that one of the most vocal players during the process of coming back to play was Jonathan Toews, that he asked a lot of questions," Friedman said on the latest episode of his podcast, 31 Thoughts: The Podcast. "And other players really defended him. They said he was great, he asked relevant questions, he challenged whether or not this was really safe to play."
Per Friedman, Toews' issues that led him to reportedly vote against the agreement likely stemmed from his concern with the health and safety of the players competing in a postseason tournament during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The voting was held on the CBA extension and the league's Return To Play plan together as one entity. So it was all or nothing for the voters representing their teams to decide on.
"Well, to be honest with you it’s one of those situations where we could go back to the last lockout and previous lockouts. There’s always been a lot of tension in those situations between the players and the league," Toews told the media after Day 1 of the Blackhawks' Phase 3 training camp on July 13. "But this is one of those situations where both sides really understood that it’s a really crazy time, and we need to find a way to work together to come up with a deal and an understanding that works for not only the two of us, but for fans. Try to get our game back out there, provide a safe environment for the players and everyone involved. Let’s try our best to try and get something up and going here.
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"Everyone’s been through a lot in this COVID era. My view is let’s try to be the frontrunners and show that a lot of people are dealing with it in different ways, but there is a safe way and a smart way we can go about this where we’re not affecting people with health issues. Let’s try our best to get back to our normal lives and get hockey going again."
Friedman also reported the Carolina Hurricanes, repped by Jordan Martinook, were the other team to vote against the CBA and RTP plan.