Jonathan Toews has had a summer to remember. After winning a gold medal in the Winter Olympics, the Conn Smythe Trophy, and the Stanley Cup all before reaching 23 years old, Toews has been the main attraction around Chicago and his home, Winnipeg, Manitoba since June 9 of this year.
Toews kicked off the celebration by bringing the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. His home province also announced that they would be naming a northern lake after Toews in honor of his accomplishments. The lake is located 150 km north of Flin Flon and will be named Toews Lake.
That same day, the Dakota Community Centre in St. Vital where Toews first played organized hockey was renamed the Jonathan Toews Community Centre. Also, he was given the Keys to the City to give tribute to his remarkable achievement and hard work ethic.
Toews also spent the summer at Wrigley Field for a parade around the field with the Cup, and he also brought Lord Stanley to Soldier Field before strolling around New York to promote his EA Sports NHL 11 Cover, which came out at the beginning of September.
Such are the troubles that come along with being the captain of a Stanley Cup winner.
In a way, the whirlwind summer helped motivate Toews to want it all again.
He could not work out much because of the commitments he made.
Currently, Toews is ready to get back to the grind of working hard on and off the ice.
Toews was able to revive his body after an extended, demanding season that included seven extra pressure-filled games in the Olympics. Instead of bulking up, his restricted time in the weight room was focused on sustaining speed and strength.
Toews has said he is ready to get back into the swing of things and see all the teammates he not seen since June as well as the new guys that may be joining him on the top line this October or at least on the bench.
Toews notices the target on his back and is absolutely aware that the challenge of repeating is expected to be a superior than the challenge of winning the Cup for the first time. In reality for Toews and the Blackhawks, it is perhaps because of how many character players they lost this summer due to salary-cap constraints.
Toews is prepared to play, and let’s trust the rest of the Blackhawks are just as eager to get the season going too.
Mikal Elyse is a contributor of bleacherreport.com and partner of chicagosportsauthority.com