I really try not to “clickbait” too much because, you know, I have some standard and quirky old journalistic notions that you shouldn’t do (no kidding, please). But, hell, it’s July 30th and we’re still waiting to see what happens with Nazem Qadri and a website dedicated to the All Things Avalanche. And, a reader proposed to me the other day that the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. This includes Jonathan Toes, the Blackhawks icon, coming into the Colorado Avalanche.
First of all, I’ve heard absolutely nothing that this can or will happen. But second, Toes isn’t too thrilled with what’s happening in Chicago over the past few months, roster-wise. The team has traded some very good young players, such as Alex Debrinkt, Brandon Heigl and Kirby Deutch, who were heavily criticized for not getting enough back. He Told The Athletic’s Mark Lazarus“At the end of the day, we’re talking about a five-plus-year process, according to Kyle (Davidson, GM). So that part of it doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. I’m not speaking for Kaner. But I definitely think the amount of business our team has done every single year over the last three or four years is getting really, really exhausting and exhausting.”
in that talk with lasersToes also spoke about how good he feels physically again, and can’t wait to move on to next season, proving to people that he has a lot left in the tank.
So, here you have a player who doesn’t seem like he wants to be part of any rebuilding process, who isn’t in any talks about signing an extension with the Blackhawks, who have one year left on contract. , on a cap hit of $10.5 million, which could be UFA later this coming season.
Sounds like a guy, if I’m the Avalanche GM Chris McFarland, I might be interested as a Possible Substitution for Qadri – which remains unsigned.
One important thing: There’s a full no-move, no-trade clause in tow. Chicago cannot trade him anywhere, without his consent. But, hmm, wonder if Toes can waive that clause to come to the defending Stanley Cup champion who might – have an opening in the center of the second row?
But dater, what about that $10.5 million cap hit? Well, Chicago may retain half of it, or enough of it, to fit him for an avalanche. The Avalanche could trade a player or two back to Chicago to allow a Toose to come here. Then, Toews comes across a winner who wants him, will play a meaningful role here and also get to play alongside his brother, Devon.
(That last one is a joke).
Some other numbers on the toews: He’s 34. He had 37 points (12 goals) in 71 matches last season. He missed the entire 2020-21 season due to an illness. He is not the player he once was. But I can definitely see him having a good year again in a good team. He remains an ace person, and he is a true competitor with great leadership skills.
Will his presence be almost too high on a team that has just won a cup and has all the leadership pieces? I doubt I bet the Toes would just come in and defy Gabe Landeskog and just be one of the boys.
Toes kept up his love for Chicago and the fans, and I’m sure it will be very hard for him to move on. But that’s all we know about the 2022–23 Blackhawks: they have a good chance of being the worst team in the league anyway, in my opinion. They are a team that is almost in some ways starting from scratch again. What’s crazy is the Blackhawks ousted some of their best young players, who would have made rebuilding easier, and kept older, more expensive guys like Toes and Patrick Kane. Yes, they both have unspoken trade deals and contracts that are hard to move. But surely there must have been some team to pick them up – assuming they’ll forgive the NMC.
Who will go to the Blackhawks in return? Well, first of all, don’t expect it to be Sam Girard. I wrote a few weeks ago or so That, based on my latest understanding of things, he is not being offered by Avalanche to “clear cap space” for Qadri or anyone else. JT Comper? Yes, I could see it. He is an Illinois native who has become a big Blackhawks fan, with one year remaining on his deal before he goes to the UFA. His $3.5 million cap space would, in fact, open up enough room for Jonathan Toes (assuming Chicago eats a decent chunk of his salary).
I’m sure Blackhawks fans would be outraged if that’s all they got for the franchise icon. But here they are not of much use. He is a 34-year-old player who has seen better days, with a monster hat that can go anywhere after this coming season.
Here’s what I think the more likely scenario would be with Toews: He’s going to be a hot commodity on the NHL trade deadline. Considering that the Blackhawks are nowhere near the playoffs, and teams like the Avalanche are likely to have a lot of accrued cap space by then, a deadline deal is a more realistic scenario.
But if Avalanche loses Qadri too soon, do they just want to try and spread the water in their position throughout the season with other solutions (as Mikko Rentanen 2c, or Alex Newhuk suggests)? I don’t think I like Rantanen’s idea as 2C. He is a big winger who can play up and down the wall and can do heavy damage. He has been the highest winger in his entire life. Newhook could become a great 2C. But it seems that a little haste will be done in this matter.
Jonathan Toes as Qadri’s replacement in the short term? I like the sound of that.
What about you, Avalanche fan?