Beyond The Benches

New Deals for Toews and Kane Will Keep Hawks Contending

Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman was able to knock off his number one objective of the off season after signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to long, lucrative extensions last week. Toews and Kane signed the exact same contracts worth 84 million dollars over eight years. The exact details of the contract can be found here. The contracts will make Toews and Kane the highest paid players in a few of those eight years but not every year. Certainly both players are well deserving and are the main reasons why the Blackhawks had such a quick around as a franchise. The new extensions may constrain Bowman in future off seasons but keeping Toews and Kane in Chicago for at least eight more years means that the Blackhawks will be able to contend for years to come.

Both Toews and Kane are arguably top five players in the NHL. Their credentials speak for themselves. Both Kane and Toews have won two Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe Trophy. Toews has won a Selke Trophy and Kane has won a Calder Trophy. Both have also represented their respectable countries in the Winter Olympics in both 2010 and 2014. May the case be rested now? The money is well deserved for both. Now with their cap hits, for years to come, be big, Bowman has shown in the past that he is able to put together a good team under the salary cap.

With this offseason not even complete it becomes difficult to make assumptions on what could happen next year. With the Blackhawks already being over the salary cup this year, a move or two still may be made. Players with a big salary hit such as Bryan Bickell or Johnny Oduya may be moved if possible. Also keep in mind that other players including Marcus Kruger, Brandon Saad, and Nick Leddy all have expiring contracts after the 2014-2015 season. Another thing to remember is the fact that the extensions of Kane and Toews will also kick in. Certainly if Brandon Saad doesn’t have a new deal by then he will have a major increase in salary. Going into this year Saad will only make $764,167 on the last year of his rookie deal. Bowman has been known to extend his players’ contracts during the regular season and that could be the case for Brandon Saad.

Contract extensions for both Kane and Toews were well deserved and will keep the Hawks in contention for years to come. Ultimately Chicago will have two of the NHL’s top five players for many, many years to come. With Chicago still producing many talented players through their system, the Hawks will contend for sometime.


Follow Chris on Twitter @Chornig94