Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have placed themselves among the greatest athletes in Chicago sports history. The Blackhawks franchise went 49 years without winning a Stanley Cup until Kane and Toews led Chicago to glory in 2010. They followed it up with championships in 2013 and 2015 -- becoming both a dynasty and the NHL's model organization.
Even though Kane and Toews each have three Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe Trophy, the two players have actually embroiled themselves in some controversy. Be it on or off the ice, two of the NHL's star players haven't been able to keep it clean the way guys like Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin have.
Toews and Kane are known today as more classy, mature and model hockey players. But when they were younger, both players failed to keep a clean whistle. Here is a look at 15 things between Toews and Kane that the NHL wants you to forget about.
15 Captain Serious Loses His Cool
What makes Jonathan Toews such a lovable player? He's the ultimate champion (three Stanley Cups, two Olympic gold medals), works extremely hard on and off the ice and is widely viewed as the best captain in all of hockey. But there was a particular incident involving Toews that made the league's model player look anything but perfect.
During Game 4 of the 2013 Western Conference semifinals, Toews' Blackhawks were on the verge of going down 3-1 in the series. Toews took a late penalty and got so frustrated in the sin bin that teammate Brent Seabrook had to come over and calm him down:
That wound up being a difference maker in the series, as Chicago rallied to win the next three before winning the Stanley Cup. Still, seeing a classy player like Toews lose his cool there wasn't a moment for the NHL to embrace.
14 Their First Season Together
The duo of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane is without a doubt the greatest of this generation. They've taken Chicago to the playoffs every year since 2009 (which includes three Stanley Cups and two other trips to the Western Conference Final), and each guy has won the Conn Smythe Trophy.
But the NHL would prefer if you didn't google the 2007-08 Blackhawks season. That was the rookie season for both Kane and Toews. Kane scored 21 goals and 72 points to win the Calder Trophy, while Toews added 24 goals and 54 points.
But Chicago finished with a mediocre 40-34-8 record and finished 10th in the Western Conference. So far, it's the only year both Kane and Toews have watched the NHL playoffs from their couches as professionals. Since they're virtually untouchable players now, the league wants you to forget a disappointing 2007-08 Blackhawks season.
13 Toews Swearing After Winning WJHC
Well before he cemented himself as a superstar in the NHL, Toews was already known to the public eye, thanks to his impressive efforts on the international stage for his country.
Toews was the leader of Team Canada's 2007 World Junior Hockey Championship team. Everyone remembers him scoring three goals in the shootout against Team USA in the semi-final. He had four goals and seven points in six tournament games.
After Canada defeated Russia in the gold medal game, Toews was interviewed and asked to share how it felt. Obviously knowing he was on national television, Toews was still unable to keep it clean: (WARNING: Language is NSFW)
Obviously, it was just a slip up. But the NHL does everything it can to prevent us from hearing swear words on television. We don't think they're too pleased that Toews let this happen.
12 Kane Booed at 2016 All-Star Game
2015-16 was statistically the best of Kane's career. He won the scoring title with 46 goals and 106 points while taking home his very first Hart Memorial Trophy. Without a shock, Kane was voted into the 2016 All-Star Game, which took place in Nashville.
All the players were being introduced, and Kane was heavily booed by the Nashville audience. Obviously, the Blackhawks and Predators have a bitter rivalry (playing in the Central Division and having met in the playoffs twice in the last three years), but it's easy to believe the fans were also booing him because of his off-the-ice troubles.
Having the fans boo Kane was just another way of showing how much disrespect Kane has earned himself across the league. The NHL really doesn't want its star players being viewed as jerks, so they want you to forget this moment for sure.
11 Toews' 2011 Playoff Performance
The NHL has to love it when their superstar players continuously shine on the grandest of stages. Obviously, no player is going to win the Stanley Cup most years -- but Toews' performance in the 2011 playoffs was nothing short of disappointing.
You see, the Blackhawks were the defending Stanley Cup champions, and they only qualified for the postseason on the final day of the regular season. Chicago met the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks in the opening round of the playoffs.
Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler absolutely shut down Toews during the series -- limiting him to one goal and three assists in the series. In fact, Toews' only goal didn't come until the final minutes of Game 7. Vancouver won the series and unseated the defending champions, thanks to a disappointing effort by Toews.
10 Toews Skips All-Star Game, Gets Suspended
Toews was selected to participate at the 2016 All-Star Game in Nashville. He scored 28 goals and 58 points in the regular season, having yet another superstar-like season. However, Toews was fighting a minor illness and chose to skip the All-Star Game. Per league rules, both he and Alexander Oveckin (who also sat out), were suspended for one game apiece.
Though Toews didn't do anything terrible on or off the ice to receive the suspension, the NHL's best players aren't supposed to be suspended, period. Toews' decision to miss the All-Star Game could have been viewed as an insult to some fans, and the NHL obviously had no desire to suspend one of their top stars.
But Toews broke a rule and had to be suspended for the one game. The NHL would rather you forget that this happened.
9 Swept In First Round of 2017 Playoffs
The Blackhawks had their most successful regular season in franchise history, going 50-23-9 and leading the Western Conference with 109 points. Chicago met the eighth-seeded Nashville Predators in the opening round of the playoffs -- a team the Blackhawks have absolutely owned throughout the years. Just about everyone who watches hockey widely expected Chicago to win this series.
Boy, were we all wrong.
Thanks to a great trap system implemented by Predators head coach Peter Laviolette and the red-hot play of goalie Pekka Rinne, Nashville completely shut down Chicago's high-powered offence and swept them in four games. Chicago only managed to score three goals in the series, as Toews and Kane struggled to get through Nashville's defence.
Being swept in the first round as a top seed? Yup -- the NHL doesn't want you to think of their stars as playoff chokers. That was not a good showing for Kane or Toews.
8 Toews' History of Fighting
Alexander Ovechkin never gets into fights. Sidney Crosby will get into minor scuffles but usually avoids fighting. Steven Stamkos almost never gets into fights. Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Jaromir Jagr avoided fighting. My point is that the best players in the NHL often display model behavior on the ice and stay away from getting into it with other players. Toews is not one of those players.
Toews has gotten into multiple fights throughout his career -- and heated ones at that. He got into a fight with Adam Henrique during a Nov. 2015 game. He got into a big fight with former St. Louis Blues star David Backes. He got into a fight with San Jose Sharks star Joe Thornton. He got into a fight with James Neal.
The NHL doesn't want its star players fighting all the time. Too bad Toews isn't able to keep it cool on the ice.
7 Kane Accused of Sexual Assault
In the summer of 2015, Buffalo police investigated a report that Kane had sexually assaulted a woman at his home. The accuser claimed that Kane brought her back into his Buffalo home and proceeded to rape her. But after three months of investigating, prosecutors decided to drop the case. No evidence was suitable enough to suggest that Kane had raped her.
Even though Kane was never charged and remained calm throughout the ordeal, this was a black eye on the NHL. In the early stages of the investigation, many were calling for the league (and the team), to suspend Kane for his actions. In the end, Kane was tied to a serious crime that was never able to be proven.
Although many believe this should be higher on the list, there are other incidents that were factually proven. We'll never know the full details of what happened that summer.
6 Flyers Fans Taunt Kane
Philadelphia sports fans, in general, are known for being some of the most harshest and no-chill in sports. When the Philadelphia Flyers hosted the Blackhawks in an Oct. 2015 game, Flyers fans chose to take a horrific shot at Kane.
This game took place while the alleged rape incident was still under investigation. During the game, Flyers fans began to chant "She said no!" at Kane. Nobody came out a winner from this. The Flyers fans who did this showed nothing but a complete lack of class, and Kane was widely embarrassed by those in the crowd.
Once again, the NHL was embarrassed from the alleged sexual assault case involving Kane. We will never know what happened, but the fans from Philadelphia who chose to chant that embarrassed Kane, themselves and the NHL.
5 Patrick Kane's Cinco de Mayo Incident
It doesn't take an Einstein to know that a large portion of NHL players love to go out and party. It's a thing kids in their teens and early adulthood do. They want to go party in bars, drink alcohol and have a good time. There's nothing wrong with a young Patrick Kane doing it, but it's something you don't want the public to see.
During the 2012 offseason (when Kane was just 23 years of age), a bunch of leaked photos came out of the Blackhawks star partying hard during a Cinco de Mayo celebration at the University of Wisconsin.
Deadspin published a story recounting every detail of Kane's hardcore day of partying. Some readers commented that Kane was hitting on girls and choking them after they rejected his advances. Whether those actions took place or not, the photos of Kane partying hard were embarrassing for himself, the Blackhawks organization and the league itself.
4 Woman Accuses Kane of Raping Her
A couple of months after prosecutors dropped their investigation against Kane, a woman claiming to be from Los Angeles released a disturbing story that accused the Blackhawks forward of raping her when they had met some time earlier.
She said that after the Blackhawks played a game against the Kings at the Staples Center, her and some friends went to a local bar. She alleged that her group met Kane and his entourage -- and that he was hitting on her all night long. She continuously rejected his advances.
She later alleged that Kane followed her into the bar's bathroom and sexually assaulted her there. The entire story was told via screenshots and was released on the internet. Once again, Kane was tied to being a sexual predator. Whether this alleged incident happened or not, having a star player accused of sexual assault was embarrassing for the NHL.
3 Kane's Limousine Party
A few months after getting into trouble with the law (we'll get onto the incident later), Kane was allowing himself into more hot water. During a visit to Vancouver in the regular season, Kane and Blackhawk teammates John Madden and Kris Versteeg were photographed while partying in a limousine with three women (according to Mark Lazerus from the Chicago Sun-Times).
The Province (a newspaper in Vancouver), released the photos of the three players partying -- and they went all over the internet. Kane, per Lazerus, said that he had "to learn," and that it was "time to grow up a little bit."
This was yet another embarrassing moment for the Kane, the Blackhawks organization and the NHL. Sure, he's going to go out and party as a 21-year-old with lots of money. But some things are better kept behind doors -- but Kane wasn't careful with himself.
2 Toews and T.J. Oshie Sentenced
Toews has obviously matured a ton throughout his career, but his college days suggested otherwise. Back in the spring of 2007, Toews and North Dakota teammate T.J. Oshie got into problems with the law, per CollegeHockeyNews.com.
Toews and Oshie entered a bar in Grand Forks as under aged minors (Toews was 18 and Oshie was 20). They both eventually pled guilty to misdemeanor charges. Toews and Oshie each had to pay fines and were ordered to performing community service. Because both stayed out of trouble following the sentences, they were able to avoid more severe penalties.
Obviously, Toews and Oshie have grown up a lot since the incident -- and we applaud them for that. But this is something that remains in history, and it's a moment the NHL wants you to forget about one of its biggest stars.
1 Kane Attacks a Cab Driver
No current NHL player has been involved in more controversy on the ice than Patrick Kane himself. There have been leaked photos of him excessively partying and a couple of cases where females have accused him of sexually assaulting them. But there is one crime Kane committed that was brutal and proven. Let's go back to the summer of 2009, when Kane was just 20 years of age.
In Buffalo, Kane and his cousin attacked a cab driver for NOT having 20 cents in change for them. Their far was $14.80 and they gave him $15. Yes, a professional athlete who was making six figures at the time beat up a cab driver over 20 cents. The two were able to avoid serious penalties; being ordered to apologize to the cab driver. Because they stayed out of trouble for a year, they avoided severe punishments.
This was an embarrassing moment for Kane and the NHL. Thankfully he eventually grew up and is more mature on and off the ice today.