CHICAGO — In one sense, the Blackhawks will not have a replacement for Jonathan Toews during the 2023-2024 season.
On Tuesday morning, general manager Kyle Davidson announced that the team will not have a captain for the upcoming campaign as they continue their lengthy rebuild. Instead, the Blackhawks will have a rotation of alternate captains over the course of the preseason and 82-game regular season.
“The only plan right now is to sort of just let it breathe for a year. We came off such a successful tenure with Jonathan,” said Davidson of the decision not to name a captain. “A little bit of it is just out of respect to Jonathan, to not fill that spot right away, and the other part is not to put that pressure on someone else when you’re coming out of a period of such greatness.
“You want the next person to be in a position to succeed, and there’s no requirement to have a captain. We just felt that it was best to leave that, push that decision a little bit. We’ll let the chips fall where they may over the next year, we’ll see who emerges, see what the best option is, and decide next year if it’s appropriate to name someone.
“We’ll take it as it comes.”
Toews served as captain for the last 15 seasons, taking over in his second campaign in the NHL in 2008-2009. In his rookie year of 2007-2008, the team didn’t have a captain, which was the last time that was the case for the Blackhawks.
The last players to serve as captain before Toews was Adrian Aucoin and Martin Lapointe, who split the duties during the 2006-2007 season.
Before that, the last time the Blackhawks didn’t have a captain was the 1987-1988 season. That came after the retirement of Darryl Sutter, who served in that role for five of the previous six seasons.
Other seasons where the Blackhawks have had no captain include.