At just 22 years old, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews(notes) has a Stanley Cup championship, a Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP, and gold medals from world juniors, world championships and the 2010 Winter Olympics. Manitoba couldn't be prouder of its native son, and has decided to bestow its highest honor upon Toews.
The key to the city of Winnipeg? A statue? A personalized Jets jersey? That's not how Manitoba rolls, baby: Toews is getting a lake named after him.
"We're going to name a lake after him. Manitoba has 100,000 lakes. I know Jonathan likes to fish with his dad; he's been up at Aikens Lake, fishing up there. So we're going to name a lake after him."
Finally, a chance to dip your toews in Lake Toes. Wait, reverse that ...
The premier's office told us Wednesday morning that naming a lake in someone's honor isn't commonplace but isn't unprecedented, either. And since the province seems to have a 1:1 ratio of citizens-to-fishin' holes, chances are it has a body of water to spare.
No word where Lake Toews will be found, or if it's large enough for his Blackhawks teammates to anchor a party boat for inevitable Minnesota Vikings-like hijinks. Our hope is that the location is in keeping with the persona of Captain Serious: a serene place of deep contemplation, remote enough for one to grow frightening mutton chops without public ridicule.
We eagerly await other North American cities and regions to celebrate the 2010 Stanley Cup champions with their own rechristened waterways. Like the Duncan Keith(notes) (Root) Canal in Manitoba. Like the Brent Sea and/or Brook in B.C. And, yes, like the Patrick Kane(notes) Water Taxi on Lake Erie.
UPDATE: We know what you're asking: Toews Lake or Lake Toews? All is revealed in our scintillating chat with Dwight Macaulay, chief of protocol for the government of Manitoba!
Q. So being the chief of protocol, what is the protocol for naming a lake after Jonathan Toews?
MACAULAY: Virtually all of our lakes are named after casualties of war from the Province of Manitoba, from World War I through the Afghan War. The premier has the discretion to also name lakes for other people. There are very few living people that have lakes named after them. The Province of Manitoba, in 2002, had Queen Elizabeth visit and we named lakes after each six of her grandchildren. And now we're naming one for Jonathan.
Q. How big are we talking about here for this lake?
It could be a mile-and-a-half wide by a mile-and-a-half long.
Q. Where is it located?
I don't have the specific location today, but it will be in Northern Manitoba.
Q. Lake Toews or Toews Lake?
Toews Lake. Jonathan will receive a map showing exactly where the lake is. He'll receive a blow up of the lake so he'll know exactly the configuration of the lake. And the lake is named forever. This is not a lake that we have renamed. This is an unnamed lake that will be named after Jonathan Toews forever.
Q. Does he get any perks out of this? Can he, for example, fish without a license?
[Laughs] I think he'll need a license. But how many people can say they're fishing in a lake named after them?