Jonathan Toews Speaks: Returning To The Blackhawks, Goals For This Season, and More

Here’s a sight for sore eyes, my frents.

https://twitter.com/NHLBlackhawks/status/1441106543731089411?s=20

On Thursday, the Blackhawks opened up training camp prior to the 2021-22 season and arguably the biggest storyline heading into Day 1 was the return of Chicago’s Captain Jonathan Toews. After missing all of the 2020-21 season due to Chronic Immune Response Syndrome, Toews announced in June that he was back on the ice and preparing to return to the club for this season. As training camp approached, we saw much more of Toews than we did during all of the 2020-21 season out and about with teammates and friends.

We’ve heard different degrees of what to expect from Toews this season, ranging from he’s in the best shape of his life to take it one day at a time. For now, somewhere in the middle of those two expectations would be good to have. You can’t expect the 2014-version of Jonathan Toews to step on the ice on October 13th, but a version of him where he looks like the Jonathan Toews you remember would be encouraging for fans and for the organization. And for Toews himself. As he says, his plan continues to be ready for Game One.

As for being in the best shape of his life, we’ll leave that to him to talk about. But it’s great to see that he is able to get on the ice and fully participate from the jump.

One thing Toews revealed when he announced his intentions to return to the team this season was that he previously had COVID. As he mentioned on Thursday, it was only one of many factors in his journey back to health over the past few months.

This feels like a good time to remind you that the Blackhawks will enter the 2021-22 season as a 100% fully vaccinated NHL team.

The next step for Toews and the Blackhawks will be to see how he looks on Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 … and you get the point. I want to believe we will see a full season of Toews playing at an acceptable level, by his standards, this year. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself, but it’s hard not to when it’s been a full year since seeing this man on the ice.

written by

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.

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