Toews Captain Humble

PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:16 AM ET

He’s won the Stanley Cup, the Olympics, the World Junior and world men’s hockey championships and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But what seems to put the admiration for Winnipeg’s Jonathan Toews over the top has nothing to do with any trophy or award.

“He just seems like a down-to-earth nice guy who’s proud to be from Winnipeg,” St. Vital resident Nadine Blashko said Sunday. “And you don’t see that all that often, sometimes. He’s been a great role model for the kids. He takes his role seriously on his hockey team, to his community. He’s kept himself well-grounded.”

Blashko and her husband waited in line to get Toews to sign hockey jerseys for their two sons, who couldn’t be there.

It seemed half of St. Vital, though, turned out for a parade which wound up at the Dakota Community Clentre, now the newly renamed Jonathan Toews Community Centre.

Many showed up with children, calling Toews the perfect role model for their community.

“The guy seems super,” hockey dad Perry Gilmour, son Brayden in tow, said. “Everybody knows him on this end of town. He’s just one of those guys you just can’t say enough good things about. He’s a super representative, for St. Vital and for Winnipeg and for Canada as a whole ... he’s a spectacular role model.”

Gilmour, who lives just a few blocks from Dakota, says Toews was already the talk of the club when he was a boy.

“We’ve all come out at certain points about 10 years ago to see him play,” he said. “You always heard about him, so you’d go out to the community club. Everybody talks about him. It’s good to see a homegrown boy excel on the world stage.”

Despite his accolades and an annual paycheque in the millions, Toews seems to have kept his humility and an appreciation for his roots.

“There’s a lot of humble, down-to-earth people here,” Toews said. “A lot of those people would handle it the same way I am now.

“It’s easy to take the credit when you’re on a winning team. You’ve really got to realize it was more just taking advantage of an opportunity than anything else. You work hard to get those opportunities. That’s all I attribute it to: I worked hard and got lucky. Things went my way.”

David Borowski is a local golf pro who remembers Toews booking tee times as a youngster at St. Boniface Golf Club.

“The type of captain, the type of person and character that he is, that just speaks volumes to the turnout here today,” Borowski said. “People respect his hockey ability, but they respect him as a person, as well.”


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