When will Jonathan Toews return to the Blackhawks roster? Also, a very early UFA watch – The Athletic


The NHL show season is all about evaluation, but there is often an organizational push on how it plays out. One GM explained the divide this way: GMs want to see young players in the system get a taste of NHL exhibition action. Coaches increasingly want to establish their NHL roster early to prepare for the season opener.

GMs need to keep an eye on the big picture, coaches only care what their team gets into the race. And they will tell you that there is a challenge in evaluating young people, even if they make a positive first impression because often those positive first impressions are against other young players. History is littered with examples of prospects who look good at first and suddenly find themselves overwhelmed when real NHL players show up and start playing in earnest.

This is all a long preamble to the evaluations that really matter right now – and this year it’s the large number of established, quality, high-end NHL players trying to get back into their respective rosters after extended absences last year. This week was the dominant theme in a handful of NHL cities, starting with Chicago, with Jonathan Toews returning to the Blackhawks roster after missing most of a calendar year with a chronic immune response.

Would the Blackhawks facilitate Toews?

No chance. Toews played 22 minutes and 48 seconds against Detroit. Toews had the team’s second-longest ice time behind rookie defenseman Wyatt Kalnyuk, had three shots on goal, one assist and arguably the most impressive, was 15-6 in the betting circle. Game.

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