Longtime Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toth will not return to Chicago next season, the team announced Thursday.
Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson said in a statement on Twitter that he had informed Toth that the team would not be re-signing the 34-year-old pending free agent this offseason for Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Humans’ home games will be his home games. Finally with the team.
“Tonight will be his last game as a Blackhawk,” Davidson said. “It was very important to us to be able to give Jonathan and our fans a proper send-off. He has done so much for his organization and wherever he plays next, we are delighted that our fans have had the opportunity to show Jonathan meaning to them.”
Toews is in the final season of an eight-year, $84 million contract with the Blackhawks. He played his entire 15-season career with Chicago and led the team to three Stanley Cup wins in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
In 2010, Toews won the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player in the playoffs, and Chicago ended a 49-year Stanley Cup drought.
The 34-year-old center also won the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the league’s best defensive forward in 2012-13 and the Marc Messier Leadership Award in 2014-15.
The Winnipeg native, who was selected by the Blackhawks with the third overall pick in the 2006 NHL draft and was named captain at just 20 years old, has 371 goals and 511 assists in 1,066 regular-season games .
This season, Toss scored 14 goals and assisted 16 times in only 52 games. Due to the effects of long-term COVID and chronic immune response syndrome, he was absent for a period of time, including a two-month absence from January 28 to April 1.
Toth also missed the entire 2020-21 season due to chronic immune response syndrome.
“I don’t really have an answer right now,” Toth said Monday of his future. “I just want to enjoy the last few days of the season with this group and not think that far ahead.”
His departure comes after a trade in February that sent star forward Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers.
The Blackhawks have struggled in recent years, missing the playoffs in five of the past six seasons. Going into Thursday’s game, they are 30th in the league with 58 points.
– File from Associated Press