WINNIPEG - The Chicago Blackhawks have been trying to attract a few big names in free agency this summer, with captain Jonathan Toews playing a part in the pitch.
Although the Blackhawks were unable to land Zach Parise, the team is still hoping to get Shane Doan.
“I’m not going to lie, there have been a few text messages sent here and there to guys that I know,” Toews said Tuesday morning before participating in the Rumble at the Ridge at Pine Ridge Golf Course. “It’s been different than other years because we have been in the mix to look for another player. I’d love to be able to influence a guy like that (Doan) to come to Chicago. We know Chicago is a great place to play and that we’re going to have a good team this year, so hopefully that entices somebody to want to come play for us.
“We still have some time to see what happens here.”
The Blackhawks might also be one of the teams Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo could be moved to.
“It’s pretty interesting, we all know the pressure he’s always been under in Vancouver and that he’s looking for a fresh start,” said Toews, who was in Winnipeg this week for the 2012 Canadian Tour Players Cup. “When a guy like that speaks out and voices his opinion that he’d be open to that, it’s going to make some headlines. It’s fun for some people to think about it.
“It’s kind of tough to comment on. We like our goaltenders. Corey Crawford and Ray Emery have been great for us when they’ve been in the net. Who knows?”
With the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire on Sept. 15, Toews was asked about the labour situation as well.
“It’s a one-day-at-a-time type of thing and you learn what’s going on in the negotiations,” said Toews. “As far as where we stand as players and where the owners stand, that always changes. Sometimes you make progress and sometimes you take a few steps back here and there.
“For myself, I’m the last guy that can predict anything because it’s my first time being part of something like this. Obviously the fans want to see hockey and the players want to play hockey, that’s what it comes down to.
“It’s all about reaching a fair deal and we want the NHL to realize that. We’ll see how it goes in the next month or so.”
Although he’s not on the bargaining committee, Toews plans to be an active participant during the negotiations. “It’s important for everybody,” said Toews. “It’s your job. It’s your livelihood. Every single guy, whether they’re established guys or not, everyone has worked hard to get to that point and everyone needs to realize there are some things we’ve earned and we need to stand up for those things.”