Today, the Blackhawks announced that they had agreed to matching 8-year, $10.5 million extensions with both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The new deals won’t kick in until the start of the 2015-16 season. Assuming no one gets signed to more money between now and then, Toews and Kane will be the two highest paid players in the NHL at the time they enter into their new contracts, and rightfully so.
Since entering the league in 2007, Toews and Kane have each won two Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe Trophy with the Blackhawks. Toews also won the 2013 Selke Trophy and has been a finalist for that award three times now, while Kane won the Calder Trophy his rookie season. Statistically, both players are climbing their way up the Blackhawks’ record books and are sure to finish their careers as two of the greatest players the franchise has ever seen, if they’re not already.
There has been some unwarranted backlash from certain fans on these deals, however. The most common argument I’ve seen today from those “fans” is that these deals put the Blackhawks in a bad situation monetarily moving forward. While it is true that the Hawks will no doubt be limited in what they can do with their money in the coming years because of the salary cap (the cap is projected to increase over the next few seasons), you can’t tell me or anyone else that the management didn’t think about that before signing the contracts with Kane and Toews… They know better than any of us what type of situation they will be in once these new contracts go into effect in another year. While it would be easy to dive into that whole discussion, I’ll save it for another time.
For now, let’s all take a minute to celebrate the fact that the two pillars of the Blackhawks’ organization aren’t going anywhere, at least for 8 more years.