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Toews feels up to task of captaining Team Canada

Dec 31, 2013, 8:17 PM EDT

Jonathan Toews Getty Images

As is often the case when talking about the upcoming Winter Olympics, it starts with the qualifier that the player in question is focused on his current duties. That being said, Chicago’s Jonathan Toews thinks that he’s “as prepared as they come” to serve as Team Canada’s captain.

“If given that chance, with the experiences I’ve had with this team going to two Stanley Cup finals and coming out on top … that’s the type of experience you take with you to a tournament like that,” Toews told the Chicago Tribune.

Canada has no shortage of leadership options with Sidney Crosby being among the noteworthy alternatives. Among his many accomplishments is a Stanley Cup championship and scoring the game-winning goal for Canada in the 2010 gold medal run.

Regardless of who’s wearing the ‘C’, Toews is looking forward to playing for Canada again. He should play a big role too after scoring 15 goals and 40 points in 42 games this season.

“You’re playing with the best players from your country but also against the best players in the world, and that’s the ultimate level in your sport.”

  1. atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 31, 2013 at 8:43 PM

    Crosby should not get it just because he’s the best player, he doesn’t seem well liked around the league so other players on the team might not respect it.

    Once we know who’s on the roster I’d hope they give it to the veteran player who’s not only got a distinguished record of representing Canada but who also has the respect of the players in the room.

    • pfhockey - Jan 1, 2014 at 4:46 AM

      Marty St.Louis?

    • desertfan - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      When you say ” not liked around the league” you are sort of right!!

      The point you miss is that the DISLIKE is from fans of the other teams.

      The players have the utmost respect and admiration of him and his incredible skills and desire to win.

      Remember the Golden Goal.

      Who else could have done that??

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        “Who else could have done that?” Are you serious? Probably any of the 35 other players (non goalies) on the two teams. Crosby scored the goal yes, but it wasn’t some miraculous play where he went around a bunch of guys, he received a pass from Iginla, took a shot and it went in, he made a hockey play.

        There’s no doubt Crosby will be the most talented player on team Canada, but let’s settle down with the “desire to win” nonsense, every player in the league wants to win and many have done it since the one time Crosby raised the cup (2009) one might point out that he and the team he leads were completely shut down despite having the most individual talent last year.

    • seniorteacherdot - Jan 1, 2014 at 7:12 PM

      Why would you say Crosby is not respected by the other players? I bet if your team could have Crosby, they would jump at it! Also in every game Crosby always has the best opposing player
      targeting him! That’s not respect?

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 1, 2014 at 10:24 PM

        There’s a difference between respecting a person’s abilities and respecting how they carry themselves.

  2. zico25 - Dec 31, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    I think Toews deserves to be captain if they choose him. These Olympic squads are full of NHL captains, especially Team Canada. Even with Sid on the team, I think rotating a captain every Olympics isn’t a terrible idea either. I’m a Pens fan and think Toews is just as deserving to lead them this year. In the end, it’s just a letter on their chest and the players will come to play no matter what.

    • joey4id - Jan 1, 2014 at 1:59 AM

      Just a letter on their chest… Wow! Have you ever been around a hockey team with adults playing at a highly competitive level?

      • zico25 - Jan 1, 2014 at 12:15 PM


        A perfect example is Brooks Orpik and Chris Kunitz. One wears the “A” on the road, the other guy wears it at home games. Just because they might not have the “A” on their chest for half the games means they’re sour at the other guy. They’re still a leader to their team. It’s called being a professional.

    • joey4id - Jan 1, 2014 at 1:30 PM

      Firstly, we’re talking about the letter C and not the letter A. There are enormous responsibility that come with the C. There are head coaches and there are assistant coaches. When it comes to wining and losing the buck stops with the head coach. When it comes to everything associated with the responsibilities of the captain and the assistants the buck stops with the captain. How many teams have on captain at home and a different one on the road? Most of the fans think that the C’s and A’s responsibilities solely evolve during the game when they need to talk to the refs. However, there are many more responsibilities bestowed on them that require their involvement before and after hockey games. So much of what they do helps then coach attain the team’s objective. They are indeed professionals by definition. Many are young adults with a lot of money and poor judgement. Outside of hockey they are like the rest of society. Some drink, do drugs, or worse. Evander Kane and Patrick Kane for example of a couple of young adults who needed some guidance and time to mature. Can you see either one as Captain? No. A lot of responsibilities aside than talking to refs comes with the job.

      • zico25 - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        The only difference between the C and the A is the fact they’re different letters. Anyone with a letter, no matter it a C or A, has the same responsibilities. The fact you felt the need to try to differentiate the two really shows you don’t get it. Teams have leaders, locker room guys that don’t need a letter on their chest. Want an example with C’s just so you feel better? Nik Lidstrom was the consummate NHL Captain of the Red Wings for years. Who wore the C for Team Sweden in 2006? Mats Sundin, another consummate NHL Captain and professional. Lidstrom was Captain in 2010, with Alfie(another NHL Captain) as an Alternate. As my original point stands, it really doesn’t matter who wears the letter for Team Canada. Toews, Crosby, or the many other players Team Canada will have on their roster are all capable.

      • joey4id - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Maybe you should try to seeing it from behind the scenes. What we see in the press or on TV is a mere fraction of their responsibilities. “Not so in hockey, where they often become near mythical figures entrusted with an almost overwhelming amount of responsibility.”

      • joey4id - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        You failed to make any point to support your claim. You can have Evander Kane captain your team then.

    • joey4id - Jan 2, 2014 at 9:00 AM

      If it’s just a letter that comes without honor and responsibilities then you’d have no problem with PK Subban being named captain. Right? How do you think Toews would feel about that? And hey is he lobbying for the C?

  3. tyler4richardson - Dec 31, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Toews over Crosby. Times get tough and Toews steps up. I wouldn’t complain if a vet like St Louis got to wear it. It really doesn’t matter to me though. Every country is going to have worthy candidates not wearing C’s or A’s.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:50 PM

      I would think that it will go to someone who they slate to be on one of the 1st two lines or D pairings.

  4. hazlydose - Dec 31, 2013 at 8:54 PM

    The Canadian captaincy is going to come down to two things.

    1) Do you want the captain to be the golden boy and the face of the country? Then its Crosby.

    2) Do you want the player who is going to be the vocal leader of the team and the better captain on the ice? Then its Toews.

    • joey4id - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:01 AM

      What about in the dressing room? During practice? Team meetings? etc….

      • hazlydose - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:07 AM

        I was using the phrase “on the ice” as anything relating to team activities. As compared to off the ice activities such as media scrums, interviews, and the like.

  5. lowenni - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    As the comment above me mentioned, Crosby is the face of Canadian hockey and that will definitely play into his potential captaincy. I believe his passion makes him a great captain, and he’d make a great choice. However, If I’m choosing, I’d have:
    Captain: Toews
    Alternates: Keith and Crosby

  6. pavelfitzgerald - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Toews > Crosby

    Toews is an all around better player & captain. He sacrifices offensive numbers to play the game on both ends

    • jpelle82 - Jan 1, 2014 at 5:48 AM

      better captain maybe. player? thanks for the laugh. see the funny thing with being the best player in the world is…you dont have to “sacrifice” anything, you can play both ends of the ice well and face the teams best defensive unit night in and night out and still dominate…something toews just cant do. if you watched crosby on a regular basis you would get sick of how much the announcers talk about him backchecking and making plays in his own end. its nauseating that he can literally do no wrong these days.

      • acepylut - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        Uh, but Toews does face thebest defensive unit night in and night out, and dominates…. and dominates against teams that make Crosby look like a 4th liner.

        How did Pitt do against Boston in the ECF last year? How did Chicago do against Boston in the SCF last year?

        ’nuff said. Toews is a better leader, steps up when the heat is on, instead of folding like Crosby did last year… and thus, Toews deserves to wear the C for the Canadian team.

  7. slyall41 - Dec 31, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Crosby gets it. Toews isn’t a good captain he’s been riding Kane Keith and sea brooks coat tails. Always thought Keith should be the captain. Toews is a fantastic two way player but Hes nothing special. Really showed how poor of a captain he was in last years playoffs with his melt down against Detroit. Sharp Hossa Saad. Excellent lineup has boosted toews status to a player he is not.

    • lowenni - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:12 PM

      You clearly have never watched Toews play. He is extremely willing defensively and comes all the way back to help his D and is still nearly a point-per-game player. Even if he wasn’t one of the best two-way players in the game he would be a very above-average player…but his skills plus his defensive play are what make him great. You know nothing if you think he’s riding people like Brent Seabrook’s tails.

      • joey4id - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:06 AM

        Both fail to consider leadership outside regular games like in the dressing room? Road trips? During practice? The on ice part during a game is just a fraction of variables that are considered when choosing a captain and alternates.

      • joey4id - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:08 AM

        *Both of you fail to consider…

    • acepylut - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      That qualifies Slyall41 for the dumbest comment of the year.

  8. rushledger - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    Sid got the golden goal, I don’t remember anything Toews did in 2010 that showed he should be the next captain. I got no problem with Toews rocking an A but not the C.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Dec 31, 2013 at 10:30 PM

      And Crosby was mostly invisible and performed below expectations in that tournament except for the golden goal. No one on the CTV (TSN) panel dared to actually point that out though because they never point out any negative in his game, ever.

      Performance should have nothing to do with it, it should be the player who will command the most respect in the dressing room, if Hockey Canada decides that it’s Crosby great but don’t do it just because TSN covers him more than ESPN covers Tebow.

      On an unrelated note, but speaking of captains, Calgary’s future captain (Sean Monohan) just ended their goalless streak at just short of 8 full periods…thank god!

      • 19to77 - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:10 AM

        Nice! Love watching that kid play. Still wish they’d freed him up for the World Juniors (I mean it’s not like he’s going to singlehandedly win them a playoff spot) but it’s great seeing him continue to excel in the big league like he has.

    • 19to77 - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:08 AM

      Guess you didn’t watch the 2010 Olympics then. Protip: watching Crosby’s goal on Youtube =/= actually watching the damn tournament. Toews was voted best forward out of EVERYONE. That includes your golden boy.

      • acepylut - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:27 AM

        Not to mention – back then it was all Crosby Crosby Crosby in the media – and the media couldn’t even pronounce Toews name correctly.

    • acepylut - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      Uh, dude, Toews was voted best forward of that olympics. Maybe you should go back and watch those olympics again, or maybe you should watch them once.

      Crosby wilts under pressure. Toews doesn’t. Witness the thrashing Boston put on Crosby’s Pens. He wilted under pressure of the big bad Chara. What did Toews do during the SCF? Recognized what happened, and said “screw him, we’re going right after him”… and then he carried the cup around the ice 3 games later.

      THATS why Toews is and deserves to be the captain and Crosby is just a great player without the leadership necessary.

      Toews deserves the C, not Crosby.

  9. hardkor07mn - Dec 31, 2013 at 11:34 PM

    Why not let the players decide? They are the ones who have to play. Ultimately it should be up to them.

  10. Hockeyfan - Jan 1, 2014 at 5:54 AM

    Crosby clearly did not play well in the Olympics until the golden goal. Was he sick? Have to wonder.
    But he is the face of hockey in Canada and the NHL despite the posts claiming he is not well liked through the league.
    Ted Lindsey award winner….must not hate him too bad.
    That said, like Toews and StLouis for the captains. Both have incredible compete levels that can lift a team.
    Sid will likely at least get an “A”.
    How is the captain chosen? Coaches pick?

  11. muckleflugga - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:15 PM


    the face of canadian hockey…sure…backside…red eye

    what nineteen year old’s cliché manual do you dig that nonsense from…face of canadian hockey lmao

    get real…piss ants

  12. muckleflugga - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:20 PM


    the term ‘golden goal’ was ripped by chris ‘the whine’ cuthbert, from soccer, where its context is entirely different

    as for who could have scored the goal…anyone from bantam on up who had the luck to shovel a gift from a referee past a goalie expecting the play to be blown dead

    unreal, golden goal…?

    more hockey hype drivel

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 1, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      Exactly, some people have made the play out to be some mythical thing, he received a pass, took a shot and it went in, it’s about the most generic hockey play anyone can make.

      • seniorteacherdot - Jan 1, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Imagine, it was so easy, yet no one else did it!

    • Hockeyfan - Jan 1, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Funny. You would think that golden goal referred to winning the gold medal not a from a soccer.
      Geez. And wasn’t the goal “magic” simply because it was the game winner rather then
      Some impossible shot from Crosby?
      Your distain of everything Crosby is getting old.

  13. acepylut - Jan 2, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    The answer is simple – compare who “mans-up” against competition, and who shies away.

    We’ll start and end with Zdeno Chara. Crosby, in the Eastern Conference Finals, got handled by Chara. Crosby lacked the will to force him and his team, to go after Chara. End result – Pens get 2 goals in 4 games and get swept.

    Toews and the ‘hawks, in the Stanley Cup finals, were afraid of Chara, and it showed – to a 2-1 series deficit. Then Toews – Jonathan Toews – stood up in front of the media and said “Chara’s good, but not that good, and we’re going after him”… and in the next game, that’s exactly what Toews did, and scored a goal.

    3 games later, the ‘hawks skated the cup around Boston’s ice.

    Toews is a leader, Crosby is nothing but a magnificently skilled player.

    If Canada wants to guarantee another gold medal – put the “C” on Toews.
    If Canada wants to maybe, possibly, if they don’t get scared of the other team, win a gold medal – put the C on Crosby.

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