Toews has posted similar offensive statistics as Kovalchuk the last three seasons while playing a more premium position and affecting the defensive side of the puck more.
Lest we forget that Toews is also five years younger than Kovalchuk. While Kovy possesses the offensive skillset to be productive well into his 30s, he's out of his peak offensive years and probably won't be posting 50g and 95p ever again.
The offensive gap between Kovalchuk and Toews isn't very big. It's probable, over the next five years, that Toews will outproduce Kovy.
And I made that comparison to point out that saying things like "he's got fire", "is a warrior", etc., is pretty useless when comparing two players.
Toews is basically the same player as Datsyuk, but 10 years younger.
Start with Zajac, replace his hands and legs with Kovalchuk's....and you get Jonathan Toews.
Toews works well for the Hawks in the role they have him playing. He's an excellent captain, and he's one of the best two-way players in the league.
I wouldn't say no to him if we could somehow acquire him on the cheap, but since we can't, I'll say that we don't need him for either of those roles, because we have adequate leadership, and because damn near everybody on the Devils plays at least passable defence.