"It's something, but it's not anything to get overly excited about," Toews said Wednesday after a news conference to promote the "Champs for Charity" game Oct. 26 at Allstate Arena. "We'll look at it and consider it and see where we go from there."
The league offered a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue Tuesday with the intention of saving an 82-game regular season that would begin Nov. 2 if a deal could be worked out within a week or so.
"As long as they don't think it's like their final, drastic attempt to salvage an 82-game season," Toews said. "If they were that desperate to conserve an 82-game season and get things done, this would have been done already. There's no real effort there."
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman discussed the proposal Tuesday with reporters, and the full offer was released to the media and posted on NHL.com on Wednesday, something Toews called "an interesting tactic."
"They're trying to sway public opinion, and I don't think that's a secret," Toews added. "There's no coincidence that they've been so quiet and all of a sudden they come out … talking about the season starting Nov. 2. They're playing an angle there."
Added Hawks forward Patrick Kane: "It's probably a good move by (the NHL) to put the offer out and make it look like they're offering us everything we want — especially to the media. But (the proposal) is a good steppingstone. It's something you can build off, and for the players union, it's something you can negotiate by now."
Despite what they perceive as media spin by the NHL, players are encouraged to see some movement after negotiations had produced little since the lockout began Sept. 15.
"Any form of movement or any meeting is always a sign of progress," Toews said. "Hopefully it gets the ball rolling the right way."
Even if that ball isn't rolling quite at the speed the players hope, Toews said there is no chance the union will pounce on just any offer the league presents to salvage a full season.
"It's never part of our frame of mind, especially considering what happened eight years ago — there's no such thing as settling," Toews said, referring to the lockout that canceled the 2004-05 season. "We have to be smart and stand up for ourselves and remain together the way we have the whole time."