Few NHL players generate as much respect on the ice as Jonathan Toews.

The three-time Stanley Cup winner's best playing days were thought to be behind him after a bout with chronic (inflammatory) response system caused his production to significantly drop. But the Chicago captain has had a resurgent season so far, posting 10 points in 15 games.

With just a year left on his contract and Chicago in the midst of rebuilding, "Captain Serious" isn't likely to stay in the Windy City long term. Should Toews maintain his level of play throughout this season, a contending team should be willing to part with prime assets around the March 3 trade deadline.

The B/R NHL Staff called together another roundtable to assess which teams should be in the Toews sweepstakes and why.


Why Colorado Is the Best Fit for Toews

Toews is still a quality player, but he's no longer the high-end two-way center that he was in years past. Between his reputation, perceived leadership persona and Stanley Cup resumé, it’s easy to imagine a general manager throwing Chicago a ton of assets and banking on the 34-year-old coming in and redefining the team on and off the ice.

Whichever team trades for Toews needs to have realistic expectations and a hard line on what price is worth paying. As such, the Colorado Avalanche make almost too much sense.

The Avs won the Stanley Cup last season with a strong leadership core already in place and a franchise center in Nathan MacKinnon. They wouldn’t be asking Toews to rescue the team and teach them how to win playoff games. Instead, he’d quietly slot into the lineup behind MacKinnon and be one of many respected voices in the room.

Before the season, the Avalanche clearly needed to find a second-line center who could mitigate the loss of Nazem Kadri for a Stanley Cup repeat. J.T. Compher and Alex Newhook were the potential in-house solutions, but that hasn’t quite worked out so far.

Compher has been strong defensively but has registered only four points through 14 games. Newhook has yet to take the next step in his career and has been moved to the wing. Evan Rodrigues, whom Colorado signed from Pittsburgh after a career year, has plugged the hole for now, but he definitely belongs in the bottom six come April.

With only $6 million in projected trade deadline cap space, the Avs would have to get creative to make Toews’ $10.5M cap hit fit. But Toews has a full no-trade clause, so like Claude Giroux last season, he will be able to essentially pick where he goes. A true contender like Colorado would presumably be appealing.

The Avs still have their first-round pick in each of the next two seasons as trade assets. He’d be a great solution to their current hole at center.