Jonathan Toews 1K: A Celebration Fit for Chicago’s Captain

Sunday night was so remarkable that even the Coyotes’ game-winning-goal that came off Jonathan Toews’ skate and bounced past Kevin Lankinen couldn’t overshadow the real highlight of the evening — the celebration of Jonathan Toews’ 1,000th NHL game (which he actually completed on Thursday in Florida).

The Blackhawks have gotten pretty good at these celebrations, with the team already hosting multiple legacy nights for former players plus the celebrations for Patrick Kane’s 1,000 games (skated last season without fans) and Marc-André Fleury’s 500th victory. Toews’ night at the United Center was one to remember, with multiple Blackhawks legends returning to the UC for their old teammate, Tazer.

Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, Alex DeBrincat, and Patrick Kane joined Toews during the pre-game ceremony to present the Captain with his silver stick to commemorate 1,000 games played and an award from the NHL Commissioner’s office.

“I was pretty humbled and pretty touched with the recognition from my teammates: Sharpy and Hoss and Seabs and Shawzy showing up,” Toews said following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes. “I owe so much to those guys. I feel embarrassed or even stupid being recognized like that because we were all in it together. It has been a special ride, and I’m just so thankful to be able to have shared it with guys like that.”

The Blackhawks played video messages from the other NHL stars throughout the evening, with the fans cheering on messages from the likes of Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, T.J. Oshie, and Steven Stamkos while booing videos from current and former foes Corey Perry, Chris Pronger, and the Sedin Twins.

“I started hearing a few boos, so I had to look to see who was up there,” Toews said smiling. “That was pretty cool, to get some of the captains, some of the great players I played against and with over the years. All that was special. Hard to focus on the game with that going on in your head.”

Of course, the three-plus minute tribute video featuring some of the greatest moments from Toews’ illustrious career in Chicago was the brightest highlight of the night:

Regardless of how things play out this summer, Sunday night’s celebration reminded us how special the last decade and a half have been and how lucky we have been to have had Toews wearing a Blackhawks sweater all these years.

written by

Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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