Canucks miss out on Livingstone, Malinski, and is this the end for Jonathan Toews?: Around the League
Photo credit:© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
8 months ago
Welcome back to Around the League — the column here at CanucksArmy where we break down news around the National Hockey League, oftentimes through a Vancouver Canucks-tinted lens.
Jake Livingstone signs in Nashville, Sam Malinski to Avalanche
The Nashville Predators have landed top NCAA free agent right shot defenceman Jake Livingstone. The club announced the signing Wednesday afternoon.
As we previously reported, the Vancouver Canucks were one of the teams that were in on Livingstone. Standing at 6’4, the 23-year-old Livingstone is from Creston, BC, and played his junior hockey in the BCHL with the Merritt Centennials and the Langley Rivermen before heading to Minnesota State University to continue his education and hockey career.
Livingstone is smart defensively, has a solid shot, and according to Faber, he’s more than NHL-ready. Almost every NHL team was interested in signing Livingstone, and for good reason.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche have signed right shot defenceman Sam Malinski, another defenceman the Canucks had plenty of interest in.
According to Chris Faber, the Canucks made visits to see Malinski play and were impressed with his play in big games this season with Cornell. Malinski is an excellent puck-mover from the backend, and will now try to fight for a spot as the Avs’ 6/7th defenceman.
While the Canucks may have missed out on two of the top right shot NCAA free agents, the club did manage to add centre Max Sasson and left shot defenceman Akito Hirose.
Is this the end for Jonathan Toews?
Even more so than most hockey fans, Canucks fans know the name Jonathan Toews all too well.
And in case you haven’t been following along, the Blackhawks captain has had a very up and down 2022-23 season. Following a career-worst season in 2021-22, where he tallied 12 goals and 25 assists in 71 games, Toews recorded 14 goals and 14 assists through 46 games this season.
Toews last played exactly two months ago on January 28th, and has since been out of the lineup while dealing with symptoms of both Chronic Immune Response Syndrome, which caused him to miss the entirety of the 2020-21 season, and Long COVID, which started when he got COVID-19 at some point during his recovery from CIRS.
On Tuesday, Toews said he’s finally feeling better from his symptoms of Long COVID and CIRS, but has also started to recognize that this could be his last few weeks playing hockey in Chicago with his future up in the air.
Toews is currently in the final year of his eight-year contract with a $10.5 million contract that he signed with the Blackhawks in the 2014 offseason, a deal that matched longtime teammate Patrick Kane’s extension at the same time.
“You can’t really explain because people won’t understand,” Toews said. “It’s not like a knee injury or shoulder injury where you lay under an MRI and your proof is right there. It has been one of those complicated things. Even for me, it’s been really challenging at times to figure out what’s going on.”
“Regardless of what happens in the future this summer, it’s definitely on my mind that this could be my last few weeks here in Chicago as a Blackhawk. So, that’s definitely very important for me to just go out there, enjoy the game, soak it in and just really appreciate everything I’ve been able to be a part of here in Chicago — and show my appreciation to the fans, as well.”
Through 15 seasons in the NHL — all spent with Chicago — Toews has recorded 371 goals and 509 assists through 1060 career games.
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