Jonathan Toews denies he voted against NHL’s Return to Play plan: ‘I voted yes’

The Blackhawks’ captain spoke Thursday in opposition to a report that surfaced Wednesday that he was one of two NHLPA representatives to vote against the plan.

SHARE Jonathan Toews denies he voted against NHL’s Return to Play plan: ‘I voted yes’
Jonathan Toews, the Blackhawks’ NHL Players Association representative, said Thursday he actually voted in favor of the league’s Return to Play plan.

Jonathan Toews, the Blackhawks’ NHL Players Association representative, said Thursday he actually voted in favor of the league’s Return to Play plan.

Kamil Krzaczynski/AP

After missing time earlier this week, Jonathan Toews returned to Blackhawks practice Thursday and immediately held another fascinating news conference.

The biggest surprise? He said he voted in favor of the NHL’s return-to-play plan and the extension of the collective-bargaining agreement, refuting a well-circulated report that he voted against it.

“I’ll be completely honest — I don’t know how much I want to get into my reasons why, but I wasn’t one of the guys who voted no,” said Toews, the Hawks’ players association representative. “I voted yes. If anything, I kind of wanted the guys in our room to educate themselves on what was going on to the best of their ability, and ultimately make their own decision. But deep down, I wanted guys to really think about voting yes. That’s where I stood.”

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said on his podcast last week — in comments that came to light Wednesday — that Toews and the Hurricanes’ Jordan Martinook were the two “no” votes in a 29-2 approval. But Toews said Friedman, generally one of the league’s most trusted insiders, must have gotten incorrect information.

“I don’t know where he got that from,” Toews said. “I don’t know . . . who maybe who gave him the impression that I voted no.”

Asked to expand on his opinions about the return-to-play plan, Toews, the Hawks’ captain, largely dodged the question.

“We can all squabble about the details [with] the [playoff bubble site] — not all of that I agree with — but it’s neither here nor there,” he said. “It’s pretty much impossible to come up with a perfect scenario right now, but I’m glad we’re all on the same page and playoff hockey is on its way.”

Toews has been in the news since the Hawks’ training camp started, beginning with a stir last week after he made comments about COVID-19’s transmissability.

“Does anybody really know how and when people catch this thing?” he asked rhetorically at one point.

He admitted Thursday “some of my previous comments probably came out the wrong way.”

Additionally, Toews, 32, missed half of Monday’s practice and all of Tuesday’s, with coach Jeremy Colliton then declaring him “unfit to participate.”

Yet he returned to practice Thursday and said his absence was merely “maintenance.”

“[It was] nothing serious,” Toews said. “I felt pretty good out there today. And again, [I’m] getting back to that place where you can take steps forward every day instead of having to take any steps back and do any damage.”

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