Jonathan Toews Considering Retirement?
John Dietz of The Daily Herald: The life of a professional hockey player is never easy. It is why Jonathan Toews considering retirement hits a certain way in Chicago. Yes, his skills on the ice have diminished a good deal, but it appears like Toews will not be able to go out on his own terms.
The combination of long COVID and Chronic Immune Response Syndrome forced Toews out of the lineup late in January. He has not returned since. Two sources have said this is almost it for the center. Toews has 14 goals and 14 assists in 45 games for Chicago this season.
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With the season running its course, the ideal scenario is for Toews to lace up the skates on April 13th to play one last time. Whether that happens or not is up to the center and if he can even play.
Whatever does happen, this is not the way Toews envisioned it ending. Even Patrick Kane got to move on and play in New York. The center hopes to get one last shot which is all any player asks when retirement looms.
What About Some Group VI Free Agents?
Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff: Again, Group VI free agents do not carry the same fanfare as UFA’s or RFA’s most are used to seeing in rumors. However, these unheralded players should draw a little notice.
These diamonds in the rough maybe did not get a fair shot but carry some potential. Some players fall through the cracks. Look at Michael Bunting and Yanni Gourde for starters.
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Mikey Eyssimont plays all over the ice for the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he is not that scorer most were expecting. San Jose could not keep him and Tampa Bay, for now, can. There is a possibility Eyssimont slips through.
Matthew Phillips remains an interesting case too. The Calgary Flames forward is the classic “tweeter”. He can light things up in the AHL, but many consider his height (5-foot-7) to be an issue. Add in his 160 pound frame and Darryl Sutter probably does not even think Phillips exists.
Connor Mackey is another victim of the numbers game from Calgary. The defenseman can score in the AHL, but has not gotten that chance in the NHL yet to truly stick. It’s like Erik Kallgren, the Toronto goaltender. Kallgren has options though. Mitchell Chaffee and even Will Lockwood have speed and a shot which NHL teams like.