(WSCR) Tampa Bay Lightening GM Steve Yzerman gave some much-deserved credit to the one of the core pieces of the Chicago Blackhawks — Jonathan Toews.

In a blog on NHL.com, Yzerman wrote about his experience coaching Toews on Canada’s 2010 gold medal-winning Olympic team.

Yzerman writes:

As a league today, we are fortunate to have some great young players in the game, who are exciting, skilled and have good personalities, as well. They represent the NHL extremely well, and respect the traditions and the game that we love. They’re important to our league. Jonathan Toews should be counted among those players, in both how he plays the game, and how he conducts himself on and off the ice.

One of the first times I got to watch him play was in 2007 in the World Championships in Russia. Even though he was still with North Dakota at the time, he played very well there. When we began scouting for the Canadian 2010 Olympic team, we had penciled him in very early and by the time we named the team it was pretty unanimous that he was worthy of being in our top 13.

Just in watching him, Jonathan’s such a good all-around player; good on faceoffs, good on the power play, good on the sideboards. Just a strong all-around hockey player who we knew could work on any line for us in the Olympics.

Regardless of what team you’re playing for, everybody takes pride in playing for their country. And it’s no secret that playing for Team Canada with the Olympics held in Vancouver just added to the special nature of the event that year. International play is very exciting – every player really enjoys it.

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