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What if Jonathan Toews was a solution for the Canadiens?
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What if Jonathan Toews was a solution for the Canadiens?

Last time I checked, the former Blackhawks forward hadn’t announced his retirement. A year ago, he said he had made the decision not to play in 2023-2024 and to re-evaluate after that.

He wrote about it himself on Instagram.

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So here we are a year later and we’re still in the doldrums. No rumors have surfaced about him, either related to a return to the game or retirement.

Not once has his name come up.

If I had to bet, at this point, I’d say Toews will retire. Whether by force of circumstance or by choice, I have a feeling that this will be the end for him in the Bettman circuit.

But perhaps he’s decided otherwise?

His star may have faded in recent years (performances, state of health, Blackhawks scandal, etc.), but maybe he still feels capable of playing hockey.

And if so, the Habs should give him a call. If they haven’t already, of course.

Please note: I’m not saying Toews is tied to the Habs. I said it at the outset: there are currently no rumours linking him to an NHL team.

But I wonder: if he wants to play, could he be a solution to inject some talent into the club in the short term? After all, you’ve seen the list of remaining free agents… and that’s not the end of the story.

Of course, maybe if Toews wants to come back, he wouldn’t want to do it on an ugly team that’s physically far from home, has no chance of winning and already has two centers on its top-6.

But at the same time, if no one else wants him, might he decide to pay homage to his mother’s Quebec roots and come practice his French in a historic franchise?

(Credit: Hockey DB)

It’s been said that the Habs need top-6 talent. Toews is a center, and ideally, the Habs would have him on a third line… but that would allow them to have Alex Newhook on the top-6 wing without having him worry too much about the center.

And we know he’s better on the wing, clearly.

Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach (whom Toews loved in Chicago, by the way), Toews and Christian Dvorak as a center line with Jake Evans and Alex Newhook on the wing would give the club depth and talent.

And clearly, Toews would demand a reasonable salary.

I repeat: we don’t know if he wants to play (and if he wants to play in Montreal, especially) and he’s not the perfect fit … but if the summer goes by and nothing materializes, what would it cost to end up calling him up?

And in the worst case, it doesn’t work out after the call and we move on.

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