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Blackhawks Veteran Core Players are "pissed,"


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Toews is only 32. He can still play. And he still wants to win.


But two months later, he?s wondering when, or if, he?ll get another chance.


The Blackhawks? abrupt shift into a full-blown rebuild ? kicking Corey Crawford to the curb, trading Brandon Saad to Colorado, not qualifying Drake Caggiula and Slater Koekkoek ? has blindsided the final four members of the core.


And Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook aren?t happy about it. As one source close to the veterans put it, ?They?re pissed. The core guys have had enough.?


Toews took a far more measured ? but still pointed ? tack.


?Bottom line is, I want to win,? Toews told The Athletic on Saturday night. ?The expectation for the other leaders on this team and myself is to come ready to training camp every year to be a playoff team. We prepare ourselves to win a Cup for our fans. I?ve never been told that we were going through a rebuild. That has never been communicated to me, for that matter. A lot of this comes as a shock because it?s a completely different direction than we expected.?


The negotiations ? or lack thereof ? with Crawford might have been a breaking point between the players and general manager Stan Bowman. After signing a two-year, $7.8 million deal with New Jersey, Crawford said on Saturday that the Blackhawks made one offer, for one year at around $3 million. The Blackhawks never budged and pulled the offer off the table before free agency began, choosing to give Malcolm Subban, Collin Delia and Kevin Lankinen a chance to show what they can be. Crawford said he was ?devastated? and ?shocked? after the phone call from Bowman.


The core was, too. They were also angry. Yes, Crawford is 35. But he?s still an elite goalie, with a .928 save percentage over the last three months of the season after taking the No. 1 job back from Robin Lehner.


?It?s sad,? Toews told The Athletic. ?It?s really disappointing. Crow has given so much to this team. I feel he was ready to bring more in the next few years and still be a big part of this group. He had that mindset that he could help this team go deep in the playoffs again, and there?s no doubt that he could.?



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