Toews more relaxed this time around

Toews more relaxed this time around

July 29, 2013, 10:00 am
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When it's time for Canada to defend its gold medal at this February's Winter Olympics in Sochi, who should be their captain?

Not that I'm Steve Yzerman, who'll utimately make that call. And yes, I'm a little biased because I've watched the guy in every game he's played in for the past 4-1/2 years. But that guy should be your Blackhawks captain, Jonathan Toews.

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His main competition will be Sidney Crosby, who scored the host country's version of the Golden Goal in overtime against Team USA to start a nation-wide celebration in Vancouver. The Penguins captain - largely believed to be the best player in the game - was an alternate 3-1/2 years ago, along with Jarome Iginla and Chis Pronger. The latter's been forced into retirement by concussion issues. The captain was the since-retired Scott Niedermayer.

A lot can happen between now and then, especially health-wise. Both Crosby and Toews have had their own issues with concussions. But there are enough people who known the game way better than I do that believe Toews is the best captain in the game. His actions and performance show that at both ends of the ice, and he is now a two-time Stanley Cup winner. That's happened since Crosby's Penguins made the Cup Final in back-to-back seasons, winning one. Pittsburgh hasn't gone back to the Final since.

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What an Olympic captaincy means to Toews is one of the questions I asked him during one of five sit-down interviews we conducted during this past weekend's Blackhawks Convention. You can hear his response on all "SportsNet Central"s tonight, starting with the 6:30 show. We also discuss how his captaincy has evolved in his five years in that role, the subtle move he made on the momentum-changing, game-tying goal in Game 6 in Boston, and the line (with Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell) that took over the series once reunited.

We will roll out a Blackhawks interview each day this week in all "SportsNet Central"s. The remaining schedule is as follows:

Tuesday - Corey Crawford
Wednesday - Patrick Kane
Thursday - Bryan Bickell
Friday - Joel Quenneville