Jonathan Toews named alternate captain for Team Canada
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter January 19, 2014 6:33PM
Updated: January 19, 2014 10:04PM
Jonathan Toews being named an alternate captain for Team Canada in the Winter Olympics next month in Sochi, Russia, was almost as inevitable as him being named to the team itself. But that didn’t diminish the honor for Toews when Hockey Canada made it official Sunday.
‘‘It’s pretty cool,’’ Toews said. ‘‘It’s a pretty huge honor. First and foremost, to be on that team is amazing. To be considered one of those guys, at my age, to be looked to for leadership, I’m excited about that. [I’ll] be confident with that role, considering the experience I’ve had at the Olympics before and the playoffs with our team here in Chicago. I’m excited for the challenge. I know it’s going to be different than the role I played last time. So it’s not going to be easy, but I’m looking forward to it.’’
Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, who scored the golden goal against the United States in the gold-medal game in 2010 in Vancouver, will be the captain. Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber is the other alternate.
Toews has been the Blackhawks’ captain since his second season in 2008-09.
‘‘You couldn’t ask for a better role model or a better example of what a captain is supposed to represent,’’ Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
But on Team Canada, Toews will be leading a room full of leaders. He said that won’t change anything for him.
‘‘I’m just going to do what normally makes me a successful hockey player and try and bring as much as I can to the table,’’ he said. ‘‘And I think [that means] playing that smart, two-way game the way I know how to.’’
Toews had a rare lapse in that smart game Sunday against the Boston Bruins, inadvertently tossing a shard of his broken stick into the crowd and earning a 10-minute misconduct. He sat and watched the middle of the second period, chatting up the penalty-box official while standing up and keeping loose during stoppages.
Rule 53.4 calls for an automatic misconduct penalty for throwing a piece of equipment out of the playing area, regardless of intention. Had it been intentional, he would have received a two-minute minor, too.
‘‘I just kind of tossed it and made sure it was out of the way if the puck came back in that area, and I guess it went over the glass,’’ Toews said. ‘‘Kind of unfortunate, but at least I didn’t put our team down a guy.’’