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A major change for the Blackhawks is coming this year

CHICAGO — In a sense, the Blackhawks won’t have a replacement for Jonathan Toews during the 2023-2024 season.

On Tuesday morning, general manager Kyle Davidson announced that the team would not have a captain for the upcoming campaign as it continued its long rebuild. Instead, the Blackhawks will have a rotation of alternate captains during the preseason and 82-game regular season.

“The only plan at the moment is to let him breathe for a year. We had a very successful tenure with Jonathan,” Davidson said of the decision not to name a captain. “A little part of it is just out of respect for Jonathan, not to occupy that spot right away, and the other part is to not put that pressure on anyone else when we come off a period of a such greatness.

“You want the next player to be able to succeed, and you don’t have to have a captain. We just thought it was best to leave that and push this decision a little bit. We will let the issues fall where they may over the next year, see who emerges, what the best option is and decide next year whether it is appropriate to appoint anyone.

“We’ll take it as it comes.”

Toews has been captain for the past 15 seasons, taking over in his second NHL campaign in 2008-09. The last player to occupy this role before him was Martin Lapointe, who did so during the 2007-2008 season when Toews was a rookie.

This is the first time since the 1987-1988 season that the team will play a season without a designated captain. This came after the retirement of Darryl Sutter, who held the position for five of the previous six seasons.

NBC Chicago

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