Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have gone through plenty together.
They went through the early years when they were designated the cornerstones of a rebuilding Blackhawks franchise. They celebrated the great times, including the two Stanley Cups they’ve won in Chicago. They also endured their road roommate arrangement, which much to their amused relief ended a few seasons ago.
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“Thank God that had to change,” Toews said to laughs. “We may not be sitting here today.”
All kidding and individual road accommodations aside, Toews and Kane couldn’t imagine not being teammates. They couldn’t imagine not being in Chicago together. They compliment each other and the franchise, which they helped rebuild. On Wednesday, they talked about hopefully continuing down this successful path another few years together.
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Toews and Kane talked about their eight-year, $84-million extensions, when the Blackhawks held a press conference on last week's signing. It’s been a great seven years for the duo already, and Toews and Kane each appreciate what the other has done along the way.
“It’s special,” Kane said. “I was fortunate enough to come in with him at the same time. Being an 18-year-old, to have him with me and to lean on each other at certain times with what was going on in our lives, it really helped us on early in our career. It’s a good situation to be in, playing with a player like him.”
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Toews said Kane has, “made my job a lot easier.”
“We’ve had a lot of great moments but some days things don’t go your way. The other guy is always there to deflect that pressure a little bit and make those tough days a lot easier,” he said. “There are so many ways we build off each other as players and as people. It’s been amazing so far.”
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General manager Stan Bowman talked of the Blackhawks’ good fortune regarding Toews and Kane: two superstars in their system for the long haul, either of which any other team would love to have. Coach Joel Quenneville has also appreciated having the two.
“I’m in a great position as a coach to have these guys moving forward, from their leadership to their play to the depth to the contributions. They encompass all these things to make us successful," he said. "As a coach, they make our job so easy.”
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Toews and Kane have come through the Blackhawks ranks together. They have reaped the rewards and “survived” sharing a hotel room on the road. They’ll laugh about that last item but what they’ve done with the Blackhawks is no joke. They’ve enjoyed the success they’ve helped bring here and they’re looking forward to creating more. Together.
“It’d be weird to be on a team without Kaner,” Toews said. “And we’re both grateful for this opportunity.”