Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews participates in Monday's voluntary practice

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews participates in Monday's voluntary practice

On Monday, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews skated with teammates at the Hawks' practice facility for the first time since the NHL paused on March 11.

Teams have been allowed to hold small, voluntary group workouts since June 8 in accordance with the NHL's Return To Play plan. Blackhawks players first started showing up at Fifth Third Arena in Chicago on June 10.

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Patrick Kane and goalie Malcolm Subban, who have been regularly participating in the on and off-ice workouts since they began, were also on the ice with Toews Monday.

Related: Patrick Kane, several Blackhawks return to practice facility

Training camps are scheduled to start on July 13 for teams competing in the NHL's 24-team playoffs held in Edmonton and Toronto, the two hub cities.

The postseason, which has the Hawks facing the Oilers in a best-of-5 play-in series is slated to begin August 1. 

Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews ranked best Top 10 NHL draft pick of salary cap era

Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews ranked best Top 10 NHL draft pick of salary cap era

It doesn’t take advanced analytics to realize that the Blackhawks hit a home run by drafting Jonathan Toews third overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. According to a recent article from The Athletic, advanced analytics not only confirm that the Blackhawks made a great selection in Toews, but say that Chicago made the best top-10 draft pick of the salary cap era from 2005-2016 (2017-2019 were excluded due to a lack of sufficient data).

The Athletic evaluated each draft pick's first seven seasons (based on an advanced metric called Game Score Value Added) and expected value based on draft position to decipher which draft pick from those 12 seasons provided the most value. Toews' wins of total value (similar to baseball’s WAR statistic) came in at a whopping 25.6, the third-highest rating for a top-10 pick since 2005 behind only Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby (both at 28.8).

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Toews comes out on top of those two as the more valuable draft pick, however, due to the expected value from where each player was picked. The expected wins of total value from the number three selection through the first seven seasons is 10.2, while the expected value for a first overall pick is 17.7. So while McDavid and Crosby may have accounted for “more wins,” Toews provides more value given the expectations for a third overall pick vs a first overall pick.

So while Hawks fans don’t need fancy stats to tell them Toews was a great pick, it sure is nice to have confirmation of where he stacks up. And it sure is nice to remind Blues fans what they missed by passing on him with the first overall pick.

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What 2010 Blackhawks' appearances on 'Tonight Show' did for their popularity

What 2010 Blackhawks' appearances on 'Tonight Show' did for their popularity

The day after bringing Lord Stanley's trophy to Wrigley Field for an unforgettable Crosstown Classic contest, the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks went Hollywood.

Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Patrick Kane made their second appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2010 on June 14.

The episode opened with the four players — of course sporting their radiant, red Hawks sweaters — in the parking lot of the studio where "The Tonight Show" is filmed in Burbank, California, wondering where the Cup is that was sent ahead of their arrival only to see Jay speeding through the lot with the trophy mounted on the hood of his green Cooper Mini.

After Jay's monologue, a highlight of Kane's Game 6 OT Cup-winning goal was shown, then Kane brought the Cup out on stage with Keith, Seabrook and Toews following close behind him.

"What was going through your mind when you scored that goal?," Leno asked Kane, then a 21-year-old first-time Stanley Cup champion. "It was pretty unbelievable," a hoarse Kane told Leno. "I think it's every kid's dream to actually do that and I think I was probably the only one that knew it went in at the time. But it was pretty exciting and to win the Stanley Cup, it's a great feeling bringing it back to Chicago."

A highlight of Seabrook putting a powerful hit on Flyer Ville Leino in the Final was shown, which gave Jay "mixed emotions" from the similarities with their last names. Then the now famous clips of Keith taking a puck to the teeth and Toews winning the Conn Smythe during the 2010 postseason played.

Keith presented Leno with a human tooth necklace, a wink at when the 2010 Norris trophy winner only missed a few minutes in the Hawks Cup Final-clinching game against the Sharks after losing seven teeth.

Toews then gave Jay a red Blackhawks jersey sporting "Leno" with the number 1, prompting the comedian to invite the group to sit in with the band for the remainder of the show during interviews with actors Josh Brolin and Ashley Greene, plus musical guest Cee Lo Green.

March 16th's appearance earlier in 2010 for the four core members of the Hawks on the program was more memorable despite less screen time and no Cup. Leno introduced the Hawks, with the entire team sitting together and sporting their famed red sweaters among the studio audience.

The team met Leno before the show and was given a tour of the studio and had parting words with him after the taping.

"I just remember it was a day off in LA. We were going to do that. We all had our jerseys on in the crowd and it was pretty cool to meet Jay Leno," Kane said a week before the NHL pause. "You grew up kind of watching and hearing about that show and I don't think we really knew what was going on until we got there, then they told us we'd have actual lines in the show. It's a little nerve-wracking, but we didn't really have that tough of a line."

"They're, of course, in town to get their [butts] kicked by the Ducks and the Kings," the host joked during his opening monologue for March 16th's show.

Shortly after, a light reflection coming from the audience distracted Leno, who had to stop delivering his jokes.

"Some kind of glare in the audience," Leno said. "Over here, Jay," answered Kane, standing up in the crowd surrounded by his teammates. "I think it's coming from the silver medal I won at the Olympics." Roaring applause ensued. "Oh look, it's Patrick Kane from the US Hockey Team," Leno said.

Kane took his seat.

"I don't remember being too embarrassed about it afterwards, so I'm guessing it went pretty well," the superstar winger said.

"You try to be confident with your line and act like you're confident. There's definitely still some nerves there because there's such a big audience all over the world. Try not to think about that too much and just get your line out and make sure you say it the right way."

"Patrick, congratulations on winning the silver medal, that's Patrick Kane, the US silver medal...", Jay continued before being interrupted. "Hey, hey," Toews interrupted Leno, standing up, soon joined by Keith and Seabrook beside him. "I'm pretty sure the glare is coming from these three Canada gold medals over here." 

"Just wanted to rub it in on Kaner a little bit, so it was a pretty good opportunity," Toews said of the segment.

"Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Canada's Olympic Hockey Team. Nice job, gentlemen. Congratulations on winning the silver and the gold. Chicago Blackhawks, ladies and gentlemen, right there. Congratulations guys, good to see you," Jay told the budding stars and rejuvenated franchise before moving on with the show.

The four Olympians had earned their hardware a few weeks earlier in an overtime thriller of a gold medal game with Canada beating the US 3-2 in extra time.

Toews scored the first goal of the contest and Keith assisted on Canada's second from longtime Duck Corey Perry. Kane assisted on Team USA's first marker from former Canuck rival Ryan Kesler and the game-tying goal with under 25 seconds left in regulation from Zach Parise with an extra attacker.

The rock band that was the 2010 Blackhawks kicked off their tour at the Olympics and because of the exposure from the world games, they were ready for their second big stop, "The Tonight Show."

"You got to remember we just came from the Olympics and that was in Vancouver, there was so much attention on Ice Hockey," Kane said. "Chicago started becoming pretty popular that second season.

"It started being really popular to come to the games. Obviously when we made it to the Conference Finals (2009), the popularity just took off. So that was right around the time we were kind of getting used to everything."

Rising movie star Hugh Jackman — a guest on the Hawks' first 2010 "Tonight Show" — walked out onstage, pointing to the rising hockey stars that were the 2010 Hawks and gave them a thumbs up. "How good was that game, that hockey game," Jackman asked Leno and the audience. "I'm Australian, I wasn't brought up with hockey, but I watched that game. Unbelievable, unbelievable."

"Obviously it was pretty cool to go," former Blackhawks defenseman and 2010 Cup champ Brent Sopel said. "You see it on TV, but to actually be there and be in the crowd . . . we got to do a lot of cool things as a group and as a team. Obviously it was just the start of putting us on a stage that the world was going to start knowing who we are."

Despite the recognition the squad received on both "Tonight Show" episodes, Toews thinks the team, in some form, should have been given the same royal treatment Jackman was.

"It was cool to be there, but I think you don't really consider yourself a guest unless you're on the stage sitting in the chair talking to him, so it was different I guess," Chicago's captain said.

Looking back at the 2010 group's cast of characters and star appeal, not to mention the achievements that awaited the core members, who could argue with Toews? The 2010 Blackhawks blended in amongst the stars, but they would have been deserving of a pedestal towering over them during their unrivaled launch in the spotlight.

Three years after 2010's championship run, Kane received the royal treatment Toews desired from a rival late night host.

"I was actually able to be on David Letterman with the Cup in 2013, so that was a little bit more exciting because I was actually part of the interview and getting asked some questions by him. That was pretty cool," 2013's playoff MVP said.

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