Toews eager for games in hometown Winnipeg

Friday, 07.19.2013 / 5:24 PM | Tal Pinchevsky  - Staff Writer

WINNIPEG -- It seemed only fitting that the NHL released its 2013-14 schedule on the same day Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews brought the Stanley Cup to his hometown.

The League's realignment for the upcoming season moves the Winnipeg Jets into the Central Division alongside Toews' Blackhawks. Chicago's Nov. 2 visit to MTS Centre will be Toews' first game in Winnipeg as an NHL player. It's a game he's already looking forward to.

"I'm excited. It's something my friends and I and my family have been waiting for," said Toews, who noted his parents were particularly excited. "They're more nervous about the tickets we're going to have to come up with. That's never going to be an easy thing."

The Jets had not yet moved to Winnipeg when Toews entered the League in 2007; they relocated from Atlanta in 2011, 15 years after the original Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes. The NHL schedule didn't afford him the opportunity to lead his Blackhawks onto the ice in his hometown during the Jets' first two seasons in Winnipeg.

Stepping onto the MTS Centre ice will be a moment he admits he wasn't sure he would be able to enjoy during his career.

"Starting my career in Chicago six years ago, I never imagined there would be a team here so soon," Toews said. "I never thought I would get a chance in my lifetime as a hockey player to play a pro game here. It's going to be really special."

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