By Mike Harrington
Kane and Toews. Toews and Kane.
They've become as synonomous with Chicago hockey just like icons such as Wrigley Field and deep dish pizza are to The Windy City itself. There was no way the Blackhawks wanted to move forward without captain Jonathan Toews and South Buffalo sniper Patrick Kane, and their eight-year, $84 million extensions that were formally discussed Wednesday keep them together in the prime of their careers.
As Mark Lazerus reports in the Sun-Times, Kane and Toews stayed flexible with their deals so the Blackhawks could keep a team around them -- and not be forced to pick one of their stars and discard the other. If either or both had demanded an annual max deal of $13.8 million, the Hawks certainly would have had tough choices to make.
The final year of the players' current deals this year will have $6.3 million cap hits, which will jump to $10.5 million apiece when the extensions kick in for 2015-16. The deals pay each player $13.8 million for the first three years, $12 million in 2018-19, followed by salaries of $9.8 million, $7 million, $6.9 million and $6.9 million.
As Chris Kuc reports in the Chicago Tribune, Kane put to rest all that social media chatter about coming home to Buffalo when he said, "It was not even really a thought to think about continuing your career anywhere else. We’re both happy that we’re locked up here for a while."
The video file at the top of this post with highlights from Wednesday's press conference in the United Center is from CSN Chicago. If you want to see the full press conference (running about 37 minutes) from the Blackhawks' web site, click the video file below: