“I’m midway through my career and all of a sudden I’m being talked about being thrown on a stage with some of the all-time greats,” the 28-year-old Toews said. “I mean it’s special and to share it with two close friends like (teammates Patrick Kane) and (Duncan Keith). It’s pretty incredible and I don’t think it’s anything that will ever sink in.”
The decision to include Toews, a Selke Trophy winner, Conn Smythe winner and three-time Stanley Cup champion, was one of the more controversial choices voted into the top 100 by the league’s “Blue Ribbon Panel.”
Toews has finished with over a point per-game average once in his career and has never scored more than 34 goals or 76 points in a single season. He has also notched 592 points in 687 games. For comparison’s sake, Pittsburgh Penguins 30-year-old center Evgeni Malkin has played 691 games, notched 814 points, won two Stanley Cups, a Hart Trophy and a Conn Smythe Trophy and did not make the list.
There were a few other snubs, such as Dale Hawerchuk and Joe Thornton, who put up better numbers than Toews, but didn’t have the same type of winning pedigree.
Shortly after Toews was announced the NHL touted the player on Twitter, saying, “When you’ve captained three Stanley Cup-winning teams, won a Conn Smythe Trophy and built a career on winning, you make the Top 100.”
Former NHL players noted that part of the reason for the presence of current Blackhawks, had to do with the amount that the team had won in the post 2004-05 lockout era.
“I think it speaks volumes that there’s three Chicago guys having won three Cups in the last 10 years since all of them have been in the league,” former NHLer Chris Pronger said. “That’s pretty tough to do.”
Said Toews, “In some ways I guess we’ve been given that opportunity where we’re part of something special. We were part of a revival of hockey in Chicago, so yeah I think we were honored to have those opportunities and to take advantage of them and to do something special and to grow the game the way our team has in Chicago has been cool and I think it has kind of magnified itself in so many different levels.”
In typical Toews fashion, the player spoke to his team’s history and what it meant to him just to be named with some of the other great Blackhawks who made the list. Toews has always understood the historical importance of his organization and has often pointed this out as he has built his own legacy.
“This energy, this history, this kind of richness to it all that I think is special,” Toews said. “Again for us to be already midway through our careers and be thrown in the same pit as Tony (Esposito) and Bobby Hull and Stan (Mikita) and Denis (Savard), it’s crazy. I don’t think even if I was still playing somewhat close to 10 years from now I would still really believe that I would be mentioned at that level.”
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