Toews wins ESPY Award

Former UND standout Jonathan Toews won an ESPY Award last night as the best NHL athlete.

Toews recently captained the Chicago Blackhawks to their third Stanley Cup in the last six years. Toews joined a small list of players to have captained three Stanley Cup-winning teams.

Toews beat out Alexander Ovechkin, John Tavares, Carey Price and Duncan Keith for the honor.

It is the first ESPY Award for Toews, who has won a Conn Smythe as NHL Playoff MVP, a Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward and the Mark Messier Leadership Award as the best leader in the game.

ESPY’s for best NHL athlete

2015 — Jonathan Toews
2014 — Sidney Crosby
2013 — Sidney Crosby
2012 — Jonathan Quick
2011 — Tim Thomas
2010 — Sidney Crosby
2009 — Sidney Crosby
2008 — Sidney Crosby
2007 — Sidney Crosby

Toews to appear on cover of NHL16

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, recently announced as the cover boys for the EA Sports’ NHL 16 video game, will be the first athletes ever to appear on a cover of an EA Sports video game twice.

It is the second time in six years that Toews, the former UND standout, has been on the cover. Toews was on the cover of NHL 11, too.

The duo, who led the Chicago Blackhawks to a third Stanley Cup in six years, are pictured holding the Cup after taking out the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.

Here’s a photo of the cover:


Toews wins Messier Leadership Award

Jonathan Toews already has racked up his share of team and individual awards during his NHL career.

He added to that total on Wednesday night.

Toews won the Mark Messier Leadership Award for being the best leader — on and off the ice — in the NHL. Messier helps select the winner of the award.

Toews already has a Conn Smythe Trophy as a playoff MVP and a Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward. Toews was a finalist for Selke again this year but it went to Patrice Bergeron instead.

Toews, just 27 years old, has won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks and two Olympic gold medals with Canada.

Toews is the second-youngest player to captain three teams to a Stanley Cup. The only player to do it at a younger age was Wayne Gretzky, who was 26.

Toews wins third Stanley Cup

Jun 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Jun 15, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in game six of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Former UND great Jonathan Toews is a Stanley Cup champion again.

Toews became the 11th player in hockey history to captain three teams to a Cup. The only players to do it in the last 30 years are Steve Yzerman, Scott Stevens and Wayne Gretzky.

Others on the list are Denis Potvin, Yvan Cournoyer, Jean Beliveau, George Armstrong, Rocket Richard, Syl Epps and Sid Abel. All of them are in the Hall of Fame.

The only player to do it at a younger age (by seven months) was Gretzky.

Toews is the first former UND player to win the Stanley Cup three times. A former UND player has been one of the captains on the Cup-winning team in five of the last six years now with Toews and Matt Greene.

Toews a finalist for Selke, Messier

Former UND star Jonathan Toews is once again a finalist for two major NHL awards — the Selke Trophy as the league’s best defensive forward and the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which goes to the NHL’s best leader.

Toews has previously been a finalist for both awards, winning Selke in 2013.

Toews is a Selke finalist for the fourth time in five years. The other finalists are Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings. It was the same top three as a year ago.

The Selke bio for Toews says: “Toews played a key role in helping the Blackhawks tie for the fewest goals against in the NHL and post the 11th 100-point season in franchise history (fifth since 2008-09). He led all Western Conference players and ranked fifth in the League overall with a career-best +30 rating, ranked fourth in the NHL in face-off wins (947) and sixth in face-off winning percentage (56.5%), and topped Blackhawks forwards in total ice time (1,584:36, 19:33 per game). A Selke finalist for the fourth time in five years, the Blackhawks captain is in quest of a second career win after capturing the award in 2012-13.”

Toews is a finalist for the Messier Award along with Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets.

The Messier bio for Toews says: Chicago’s captain since he was just 20-years-old, Toews led the club with 28-38—66 in the regular season to guide the Blackhawks to their seventh consecutive playoff berth. He also built upon his work in the community, where he actively participates in various team endeavors, including Make-A-Wish visits and the Four Feathers Golf Invitational. Independently, Toews served as the honorary chairperson for the Israel Idonije Fundraiser, which helps underserved communities by providing programs focused on social and emotional life skills; supported The Winnipeg Foundation in creating its Nourishing Potential campaign; and continued his role with Misericordia, a Chicago group that offers care for those with mild to profound developmental disabilities.”

Toews is currently playing in the second round of the NHL Playoffs with the Chicago Blackhawks against the Minnesota Wild. Chicago leads the series 2-0.

Toews named NHL All-Star again

Former UND forward Jonathan Toews will compete in the NHL All-Star Game once again.

Toews was selected via fan vote, which determines six roster spots in the All-Star Game. Toews received 1,217,210 votes.

This will be the fourth time that Toews has been selected to participate in the All-Star Game. Previously, he made it in 2009, 2011 and 2012. There wasn’t an All-Star Game in 2010, 2013 or 2014.

Toews has 17 points in 19 games for the Blackhawks, who sit in second place in the Central Division.

Toews signs 8-year, $84 million deal

The Chicago Blackhawks are keeping their captain for a long time.

Former UND standout Jonathan Toews signed an eight-year, $84 million deal on Wednesday, the richest per-year deal in NHL history.

Toews and dynamic winger Patrick Kane signed identical deals, according to TSN.

The cap hits for Toews and Kane will be $10.5 million, which eclipses that of Alexander Ovechkin’s $9.5 million cap hit, previously the highest.

The six highest-paid UND players — Toews, Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, Matt Greene, T.J. Oshie and Drew Stafford — have all recently signed deals worth a combined $275 million and have inked career earnings worth about $387 million.

New deal coming for Toews?

Former UND star Jonathan Toews is not a free agent this summer. But the Chicago Blackhawks want to make sure that he doesn’t become one a year from now.

Chicago general manager Stan Bowman says he is negotiating with Pat Brisson, the agent for both Toews and Patrick Kane with hopes of signing both players longterm in the near future.

The big question: How much will Toews and Kane get from the Blackhawks?

They signed identical five-year, $31.5 million deals in 2010 and both are set to expire next season. They will be unrestricted free agents if nothing gets done. But all signs point to something happening.

It wouldn’t be surprising if they both sign identical deals again — something that Zach Parise and Ryan Suter did with the Minnesota Wild.

Speculation is that Toews and Kane could become among the NHL’s highest-paid players ever. But at the same time, they probably don’t want to handcuff the Blackhawks from putting quality players around them.

So, what do you think Toews will get?

NHL Awards set for tonight

The NHL will host its annual awards ceremony tonight in Las Vegas.

Former UND alternate captain Jonathan Toews is a finalist for two of them. Toews is one of three finalists for the Selke Trophy, which goes to the league’s best defensive forward, as well as the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which Mr. Messier selects himself.

Toews won the Selke Trophy last season, joining fellow former UND-forward-turned-No. 19-Blackhawk Troy Murray as the only Sioux players to earn that honor.

Hall of Famer Ed Belfour is the only former UND player to win multiple major awards. Toews hopes to join Belfour tonight.

Selke Trophy finalists

Jonathan Toews, Chicago
Patrice Bergeron, Boston
Anze Kopitar, Kings says: “Toews placed fifth in the NHL in both face-off wins (884) and percentage (57.2%) in taking 1,544 draws, nearly double the total of the next Blackhawks center. He topped all Chicago forwards in average ice time per game (20:28) and ranked second on the club in takeaways (51) and plus-minus (+26), including a cumulative +7 rating against top Conference rivals Anaheim, Colorado, St. Louis and San Jose. A Selke finalist for the third time in four years, the Blackhawks captain is in quest of a repeat win after capturing the award for the first time in 2012-13.”

Mark Messier Leadership Award finalists

Jonathan Toews, Chicago
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim
Dustin Brown, Kings says: “Toews has served as the captain of the Blackhawks since 2008-09, when he was just 20-years-old. While his leadership on the ice is undisputed, his work with various children’s charitable causes also makes him a role model in the community. Among those efforts, Toews volunteers to grant wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, including a special skating session with 4-year-old Nicholas Skretkowski prior to the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Soldier Field. The 25-year-old Winnipeg native is a finalist for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award for the second time after finishing as a runner-up in 2012-13.”

Toews vs. Parise ice time

The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Sunday night in Game 5 of their Stanley Cup playoff series as home teams improved to a perfect 5-0 in the series.

It is clear that last line change is a big factor as the Blackhawks are doing their best to get Jonathan Toews on the ice whenever fellow former UND star Zach Parise is out there. Check out the stats.

Parise’s percentage of ice time shadowed by Toews

GAME 1: 53.9 percent
GAME 2: 61.6 percent
GAME 3: 35.8 percent (in Minnesota)
GAME 4: 35.6 percent (in Minnesota)
GAME 5: 57.9 percent

You will notice the significant difference in home games and road games. In Game 1, Chicago did its worst job putting Toews on Parise and that also was Chicago’s worst game at home in the series (got outshot 32-22).

Parise’s shifts

GAME 1: 26 shifts (21 with Toews, 6 without)
GAME 2: 25 shifts (20 with Toews, 5 without)
GAME 3: 23 shifts (15 with Toews, 8 without)
GAME 4: 27 shifts (16 with Toews, 11 without)
GAME 5: 26 shifts (20 with Toews, 5 without)

Parise’s total ice time

GAME 1: 8:13 without Toews, 9:36 with Toews
GAME 2: 7:25 without Toews, 11:53 with Toews
GAME 3: 12:54 without Toews, 7:11 with Toews
GAME 4: 12:41 without Toews, 7:00 with Toews
GAME 5: 8:12 without Toews, 11:16 with Toews

Toews is the reigning Selke Trophy winner as the best defensive forward in the NHL, so it’s probably no huge surprise that Chicago’s coaching staff is trying to make sure he’s on the ice as much as possible for Parise’s shifts.

But it is interesting to look at how much more difficult it has been for the Blackhawks to do that in Minnesota.

Parise’s overall stats

At home: 1-2–3 in 2 games, +1.
On road: 0-1–1 in 3 games, -4.

Game 6 on Tuesday will be at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, so the Wild should be able to get better matchups. If they are able to send it to No. 7, it will be advantage Chicago on the matchups, though.