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Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews says he's primed for rebound season

The photos on Jonathan Toews' Instagram account have provided a candid glimpse into the Blackhawks captain's life this summer.

Toews is pictured relaxing on a beach, fishing, golfing, traveling abroad, kayaking, attending a concert, wakeboarding and hiking, among other activities. A few of the more recent posts are of Toews working out as he prepares for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey and then the NHL season.

So how's the offseason going for him?

"It couldn't be any better," Toews said. "The physical part of it is huge, but I think also mentally it's nice the first month or two to get away from the game and do something else. And when you come back to the rink and get back in the gym, (you can) just be excited about it and really have that mental energy, that motivation that just comes naturally."

Here's why it was so important for Toews to take advantage of the Hawks' longer-than-usual summer: He was tired at times last season.

Almost as shocking as Toews' decline in offensive production — he had 28 goals and 30 assists for his lowest point total in three seasons — was him admitting that fatigue from playing so much hockey over the previous three campaigns was a factor.

"The amount of hockey did add up," said Toews, who looked strong during Team Canada's two exhibitions over the weekend in advance of the World Cup. "When you get an offseason like (we) just did, you kind of understand what most teams that are either not making the playoffs or are out in the first two rounds are dealing with. All those guys are coming into the season ready to go.

"When you have maybe a month to deal with injuries and get ready to go again and hop back on the ice for training camp, I think that definitely caught up to me."

In true Toews fashion, he then put the blame on himself for never really jelling with right wing Marian Hossa and whoever coach Joel Quenneville rotated into the left-wing spot on the top line.

"I have to just look at myself and take responsibility for that," Toews said. "It turned into a game of musical chairs in the first half of the season trying to find a winger to play with Hossa and me, but I think the two of us take responsibility for that. We weren't quite where we needed to be."

One of the biggest question marks heading into the regular season is who will skate with Toews on the Hawks' No. 1 line. Quenneville has suggested Hossa, who also struggled offensively last season, will drop to the third line, which would mean an open audition to see who will flank Toews.

"Regardless of who I'm playing with, whether it's Hossa or anybody else, the two of us definitely will want to have a comeback year," Toews said. "Just have fun, play with some excitement and play loose. Let that offense come to us the way it didn't quite last year. We were fighting it for a while there."

After the Blues eliminated the Hawks in the first round of the playoffs, Toews spent the month of May in Chicago undergoing treatment and "trying to let my body heal as much as I could." Then he began his excellent summer adventure. Along the way he documented his exploits on Instagram, which drew the attention of Hawks teammates.

"I know he's Mr. Social Media now with all of his posts," winger Patrick Kane said. "When I come into the gym, all the boys will be like, 'Did you see Tazer posted something else on social media?' It's funny how he's gotten into that."

The foray into social media is another way for Toews to relax while also building an audience for philanthropic endeavors.

"I just kind of got into it last year as a fun thing, not only to interact with fans and get a little bit of my personal side out there but also to use that tool as much as I can for non-profit and charity work — things I eventually want to get into," Toews said. "It has been a fun thing I've enjoyed so far."

ckuc@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @ChrisKuc

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