Two of the NHL’s best players are staying with one of the NHL’s best teams.
The Chicago Blackhawks announced Tuesday afternoon that they have signed forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to eight-year contract extensions. Both players were set to become unrestricted free agents after the 2014-15 season.
Financial terms of the deals were not revealed by the team, but TSN’s Darren Dreger reported both players will make an NHL-high average salary of $10.5 million.
Toews and Kane are widely considered among the NHL’s best at what they do. The 26-year-old Toews — Chicago’s captain — is one of the NHL’s best two-way players. He won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward in 2013 and was a finalist again in 2014. Kane is considered an elite offensive talent. The 25-year-old scored 29 goals in 69 games last season for the Blackhawks and has 52 goals in 116 games over the last two seasons.
The Blackhawks might have to make some sort of moves, though, to maneuver the salary cap. According to CapGeek.com, these contract extensions put the Blackhawks’ 2015-16 cap payroll at almost $66 million, and they have a handful of additional players set to hit free agency. To put that in perspective, the 2014-15 NHL salary cap is $69 million. So unless the cap skyrockets in 2015-16, the Blackhawks might have to shed some salary before next summer.
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