With the Chicago Blackhawks a shell of the powerhouse Stanley Cup-contending clubs from much of the last decade, captain Jonathan Toews and some of the team's other veterans are trying to adjust their habits to benefit a more inexperienced club.
"It's tough because I think, No. 1, our older guys like (Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and Corey Crawford) and myself, I think you kind of get comfortable with your ways and how you do things over the years," Toews said on the "Dropping the Gloves" podcast, which is hosted by his former teammate John Scott. "So, there's definitely been an adjustment for the veteran guys and the guys that are considered leaders as part of the core group in Chicago."
After making the playoffs for nine straight seasons and winning three Stanley Cups during that span, Toews and the Blackhawks were on pace to miss the postseason for a third consecutive campaign this season before play was suspended.
With a mix of veteran Stanley Cup winners and young players on the roster, Toews believes it's key for himself and Chicago's other core veterans to change their leadership styles in order to aid the club's more inexperienced members.
"I think you definitely have to grow and you have to adapt and part of that has just been kind of reassessing how we lead the team and what our daily approach has been like," Toews added. "Because it's this kind of separation between a lot of the young guys that come in that never played a playoff game before and have to learn a lot of the little things.
"On the other hand, sometimes, as they say, you can't teach an old dog new tricks," he continued, "so it's hard to get out of your comfort zone and be a little bit more aware of the things that you're doing, be a little bit more aware of the example that you're setting, and how you interact with some of these younger guys."
Toews, 31, has been Chicago's captain since his sophomore season in 2008-09. He's racked up 345 goals and 815 points in 943 career games and has won the Conn Smythe and Selke awards.