PHILADELPHIA, Penn. – He earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP and became the second-youngest captain to hoist the Stanley Cup, helping the Chicago Blackhawks end a 49-year championship drought, but Jonathan Toews added one more piece of hardware to his collection Wednesday night.
With the Blackhawks’ 4-3 overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers, Toews became the 24th member of the IIHF Triple Gold Club, comprised of players who have won an Olympic gold medal, IIHF World Championship gold medal and the Stanley Cup.
He is the second Canadian to join the exclusive club this season – Eric Staal earned membership in February after Canada won Olympic gold in Vancouver – and is the youngest player to win hockey’s three biggest championships. Toews, who turned 22 on April 29, was nine months and 11 days younger than Peter Forsberg was when the Swede completed his trifecta with Colorado’s Stanley Cup win in 1996.
The Winnipeg, Man., native also tied Forsberg for the fewest Triple Gold Club events to gain entry – Toews won gold at the world championship and the Olympics on his first try, and needed just two editions of the Stanley Cup playoffs to win the big prize.
Toews started his collection at the 2007 IIHF World Championship in Russia, winning Worlds gold just four months after claiming his second-straight World Junior gold medal, and added the Olympic gold medal in Vancouver, opening the scoring in the gold medal game, leading a star-studded Canadian roster in scoring and winning the tournament’s Top Forward award.
Although the first players gained entry into the Triple Gold Club in 1994, members were not officially recognized and honoured until a ceremony during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver that saw the first 22 members in attendance.
Toews’ induction brings the total number of Canadians in the club to seven, joining Rob Blake, Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Joe Sakic, Shanahan and Staal.
In addition to his Triple Gold Club honours, Toews – along with Chicago teammates Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook – joined another exclusive club on Wednesday. The three became just the fourth, fifth and sixth players to win both Olympic gold and the Stanley Cup in the same season, joining Ken Morrow (1980 – USA, NYI), Brendan Shanahan (2002 – CAN, DET) and Steve Yzerman (2002 – CAN, DET).