Blackhawks GM says team won't name captain this season
The Chicago Blackhawks will not name a captain for the 2023-24 season, general manager Kyle Davidson said Tuesday, per The Athletic.
The Blackhawks announced late last season that then-captain Jonathan Toews would not return to the team as his contract expired. Toews, who remains a free agent, held the role of captain since 2008, a run that included three Stanley Cup titles.
Blackhawks defenceman Seth Jones said earlier this month he was hoping to take over the role of captain for the franchise.
“I’ve always wanted to be a captain,” Jones told NHL.com. “I’ve learned from some great leaders – Shea Weber, Nick Foligno, Jonathan Toews – I mean, I played with some of the greatest captains that we’ve seen. It would be pretty special.”
Jones is entering his third year with the Blackhawks, having been traded to the team from the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2021. He is signed at a cap hit of $9.5 million through the 2029-30 season.
The 28-year-old posted 12 goals and 37 points in 72 games last season as Blackhawks finished third-last in the league with 59 points. Chicago won the draft lottery in June and selected prized prospect Connor Bedard, who is expected to play with the team this year as the Blackhawks continue their rebuild.
“I understand where the organization is at,” Jones said. “I’m focused on going and just playing my game and leading whether I have a C, an A or nothing on my jersey. I don’t think that should change.
“‘Tazer’ always used to say that in the room the past couple of years: ‘Everyone has a voice in here, everyone is allowed to speak up and say what they want. It shouldn’t be just four or five guys who are able to talk.’ If you’re an 18-year-old, you should be able to speak your mind. So, I really took that to heart.”
The Blackhawks last spent a season without a captain in 2007-08, with Adrian Aucoin and Martin Lapointe sharing the ‘C’ for the previous two seasons before that.