Toews made it official on Thursday morning, saying he will play in Game 1 of the Chicago Blackhawks first-round series against the Phoenix Coyotes. Toews missed the final two regular-season games as he was still suffering some effects of his concussion during on-ice workouts. He hoped that, with the extra days between regular-seasons end and the postseasons start, he could be ready for Game 1.
Now he is.
Ive kind of stuck with the program all well and I feel comfortable playing, he said. Its time to go and Im excited about it.
Its been a long and arduous two months for Toews, who missed the final 22 regular-season games with his concussion. Toews thought he was ready to go after missing about two weeks, but suffered a setback. Then he wanted to get those two final regular-season games in but wasnt quite 100 percent.
Ive never gone through anything like this in my career, being touch and go for two months, Toews said. But the last couple of weeks have been really good. To feel ready and well enough to play a game, Im really happy about that.
So are the Blackhawks, who will have him centering Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa on the top line. If nothing else its an experiment worth trying, as the Blackhawks dont want to make drastic changes to what have been pretty successful line combinations lately. If Toews gets his legs under him quickly and Kane adjusts to left wing quickly the Blackhawks could be onto something.
Regardless, the Blackhawks are starting the playoffs just about as healthy as they could be.
Emotionally, for our team, its good to have him back, coach Joel Quenneville said. The bigger the game, the bigger the challenge and (Toews) rises to all occasions. The last week hes felt better. The last couple games couldve gotten consideration if they were meaningful. But it was good that he had extra days and we could target today, and hes ready to go.
In the latest installment of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, the panel previews the Bulls' matchup against the Cavaliers.
Luke Stuckmeyer is joined by Mark Carman (WGN Radio), David Schuster (670 The Score) and Kendall Gill to break down the keys to a Bulls win. Later, Vincent Goodwill (CSNChicago.com) joins Luke to discuss the team's progress.
Finally, LeBron James pays off his World Series bet and the entire media world is there to see it.
Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below:
Brett Lawrie and Avisail Garcia will both return to the White Sox in 2017.
The team announced it reached deals with both players shortly before Friday’s 7 p.m. CST nontender deadline. Lawrie will earn $3.5 million next season and Garcia received a one-year deal for $3 million.
The club didn’t tender a contract to right-handed pitcher Blake Smith, which leaves its 40-man roster at 38.
Acquired last December for a pair of minor leaguers, Lawrie hit .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, 22 doubles and 36 RBIs in 94 games before he suffered a season-ending injury.
Lawrie produced 0.9 f-WAR when he suffered what then-manager Robin Ventura described a “tricky” injury on July 21. Despite numerous tests and a lengthy rehab, Lawrie never returned to the field and was frustrated by the experience. Last month, Lawrie tweeted that he believes the cause of his injury was wearing orthotics for the first time in his career.
He was projected to earn $5.1 million, according to MLBTraderumors.com and earned $4.125 million in 2016.
Garcia hit .245/.307/.385 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs in 453 plate appearances over 120 games. The projected salary for Garcia, arb-eligible for the first time, was $3.4 million.
The team also offered contracts to Miguel Gonzalez and Todd Frazier, who are eligible for free agency in 2018, first baseman Jose Abreu and relievers Dan Jennings, Zach Putnam and Jake Petricka, among others.
The White Sox have until mid-January to reach an agreement with their arbitration-eligible players. If they haven’t, both sides submit figures for arbitration cases, which are then heard throughout February.