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Jonathan Toews gets in involved in Blackhawks’ free-agent recruiting efforts
Blackahwks star Jonathan Toews has taken an active role in the team’s courting of free agents.
Toews told the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe during a charity golf tournament in his hometown that he has sent texts to some players as part of the Hawks’ recruiting efforts.
The Hawks may have missed out on winger Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter, but the courting of hard-nosed wing Shane Doan has just begun with the Phoenix Coyotes’ future still in flux.
“I’m not going to lie, there have been a few text messages sent here and there to guys that I know,” Toews told Wiebe Tuesday before participating in the Rumble at the Ridge at Pine Ridge Golf Course in Winnipeg.
“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.”
Doan, a 35-year-old veteran, is close to Toews, so it’s no surprise that a text was sent. Toews also wouldn’t be the first star player to make such a pitch.
Toews joked around about recruiting Doan, who had 22 goals and 50 points for the Coyotes last season, during the NHL Players’ Association meetings in Chicago last month
“Yeah, I’ve been talking to him about it [during the meetings],” Toews said with a grin. “But I don’t know. Either way, when you welcome in a new teammate, you just accept him as immediately part of your team and try to make him comfortable, so he can play well and help your team.
“We’ll see what happens over the next couple months.”
The Hawks are one of many teams that are in pursuit of Doan, who has been part of the Coyotes organization since it began. The Coyotes’ uncertain future in Glendale, Ariz. has led to him testing the free-agent market.