Dreger: Extensions for Toews, Kane could cost Blackhawks $11-12 million per season

by Jun 25, 11:18 PM

Since the Chicago Blackhawks saw their season end in overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference final in late May, general manager Stan Bowman has been consistent and clear: his first offseason priority is signing superstar forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to long-term extensions.

Kane and Toews are both in their mid-20s and are due to become unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2015, although it's not expected to come to that. In fact, the Blackhawks are intent on signing their young, core pieces to extensions the moment they become eligible for them on July 1.

The extensions that Kane and Toews, two of the most accomplished young players in hockey, are expected to sign might give the hockey world a major case of sticker shock. From an 'NHL Insider' segment featuring TSN's Darren Dreger: 

It's an ongoing process and you know that Stan Bowman and the Chicago Blackhawks are very eager to make sure that the star component of (their team) remains in tact for a lengthy period of time. 

But we're talking about how the new CBA is going impact that superstar model of player and certainly Kane and Toews qualify for that. No longer is it possible to frontload and go with that mega deal of 10, 12 or 15 years. Now we know it's a maximum of eight years. 

So it's not inconceivable that so long as the salary cap climbs to around 75 million in 2016, that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane could come in at around $11 million, $12 million each.

Currently the highest "cap hit" in hockey belongs to Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin, whose annual averaged salary is roughly $40,000 higher than Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin's $9.5 million annual averaged salary. Surely Kane and Toews will sign deals in that general wheel house, but could they become the first players in the salary cap era to break the $10 million ceiling?

Jul 9, 1:08 PM

Blackhawks sign Toews, Kane to 8-year, $84-million extensions

by Jul 9, 1:08 PM

Tap here to access our NHL Tracker, which includes offseason rumors, trades and signings.

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each signed eight-year extensions with the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday.

The deals are reportedly worth $84-million over the eight years for each.

Toews, who has won two Stanley Cups in his seven years in Chicago, has tallied 195 goals and 245 assists in 484 games. Kane, also a 2-time Stanley Cup champion, has 178 goals and 315 assists in 515 career games and is known for his playoff performances over the years, scoring the series-clinching goal in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The two superstars, of course, are happy the long-gestating deal is finally done.

According to Pierre LeBrun, a majority of the money is in signing bonus form.

Click here for Justin Bourne's take on the contract extensions.

Feature photo courtesy of Rob Grabowski / USA Today Sports

Jul 8, 1:23 PM

Agent: Blackhawks are making Toews and Kane contracts a priority

by Jul 8, 1:23 PM

As the Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews contract saga continues to soldier on longer than expected, Pat Brisson, the agent for both players, insists that extension talks between the Chicago Blackhawks and his clients are ongoing.

"The talks are and have been going for a little while, and, yes, the Hawks are making it a priority," Brisson wrote in an email to ESPN on Tuesday. 

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has made his intentions to sign the two stars abundantly clear, and was originally hoping to have them add ink-to-paper on the first day of NHL free agency. 

Kane and Toews, both former first-round picks, are expected to command matching contracts for around $11-12-million per year

Jul 3, 3:26 PM

Report: Toews and Kane extensions unlikely to happen before holiday weekend

by Jul 3, 3:26 PM

It looks as though Chicago Blackhawks fans will have to wait a little bit longer before they see the cornerstones of their franchise locked up to massive contract extensions.

Kane and Toews, who both become unrestricted free agents following the 2014-15 campaign, are expected to command around $11-12 million per season.

Jul 2, 8:25 AM

Blackhawks GM Bowman still expects to sign Toews and Kane to extensions

by Jul 2, 8:25 AM

Although the Chicago Blackhawks weren't able to sign superstars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews to contract extensions on Tuesday, general manager Stan Bowman is still confident in his ability to get both players to add signature to paper.

"Nothing has changed from my original expectation that they're both going to be signed," Bowman told The Chicago Tribune. "We're looking forward to that."

According to earlier reports, Kane and Toews, who both become unrestricted free agents following the 2014-15 campaign, are expected to command around $11-12 million per season. 

Jul 1, 11:43 AM

Report: Extensions for Kane, Toews may not get done on July 1

by Jul 1, 11:43 AM

At noon on Tuesday, Chicago Blackhawks superstars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews become eligible to sign contract extensions. 

While it was expected that the Blackhawks would get a deal done with Kane and Toews' shared agent Pat Brisson of Creative Artists Agency at the earliest legal date, it would appear that the two sides remain somewhat further apart in negotiations.

From Sportsnet's Chris Johnston:

The initial ask by Brisson for Kane and Toews was reportedly in the realm of $12 million per season. 

Jun 28, 3:26 PM

Blackhawks GM Bowman isn't worried about the exorbitant cost of extensions for Kane, Toews

by Jun 28, 3:26 PM

The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to extend star forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane this summer, ideally on July 1, the first day they become eligible for extensions. 

It's been reported that the initial ask by Kane and Toews' camp - both players are represented by Pat Brisson of Creative Artists Agency - was around $12 million each. Will they become the first players in the salary cap era to sign a deal with an averaged annual salary (or cap-hit) above $10 million?

It's a fascinating question, but not one that Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is too worried about.

"We're not looking at the number or whether it's above or below a certain point," Bowman told reporters at the Draft on Saturday, per Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago. "We're just looking to continue to have two of the best players in the world on our team. I think that's the one thing you can't lose sight of.

"I look at it as an incredible thing. We got these two great players who are going to be in Chicago. Regardless of what the [salary] number is, there's 29 other teams that would be happy to be in our spot where they've got two star players. They've accomplished a lot already, and they're in their mid-20s. It's a great position. We're fortunate more than anything to have both of them on our team."

Bowman also re-emphasized his belief that extensions for Kane and Toews would be agreed to and signed shortly. The wily Blackhawks general manager clearly expects the announcement to be made in concert:

"Yeah, the timing I think is important," Bowman said. "They've talked about that. They've been teammates since they came into the league together. They were drafted a year apart, but they came in together. Everything has sort of been in tandem ever since they started their first game together. I think it would only be fitting to get the contracts finished and announced at the same time."

So the deals will probably be announced simultaneously, but will the dollar amounts of Toews and Kane's next contracts be identical too?

Jun 23, 6:59 PM

Toews and Kane likely to sign long-term extensions on the same day

by Jun 23, 6:59 PM

The Chicago Blackhawks may have the best young tandem in hockey in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. General manager Stan Bowman is eager to sign both before July 1.

The two are as close off the ice as they are on it and plan on signing long-term extensions on the same day like they did in 2009.

Toews told Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times:

We've been kind of going hand-in-hand almost our entire careers. When we came in as rookies, and we've just been included in the same discussion for a lot of things, namely our second contract, and probably this time again. The chances of that are good. But at the end of the day, he’s got his own needs and his own family, and you have to respect that, as well.

Toews continued to elaborate, hinting at extenions that would keep them in Chicago for the remainder of their careers.

For us as players, Kaner and I will take it slow and make the right decision. We don’t know what that process is going to entail exactly, but I think everyone knows we love Chicago and we understand how much we've been given by the organization and fans. We want to be there for as long as we possibly can be — hopefully our entire careers. That’s the priority right there.

Jun 11, 7:24 PM

Report: Blackhawks GM Bowman optimistic extensions for Toews, Kane will be done by July 1st

by Jun 11, 7:24 PM

The Chicago Blackhawks are eager to lock up star forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews and general manager Stan Bowman hopes to have the deals done before wading into the muck of this offseason, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

During an "Insider Trading" segment on "Sportscentre" on Wednesday night, LeBrun reported Bowman told him Wednesday that "he wants [Kane and Toews] signed by July 1st." 

Toews and Kane will hit unrestricted free agency next summer barring contract extensions and are likely to soak up a good proportion of Chicago's salary cap going forward. LeBrun reports that Bowman would like to lock up his star forwards before making any major offseason decisions. 

The rules of the NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement forbid Toews and Kane from putting pen to paper before July 1st. Bowman doesn't expect to waste any time getting their names on long-term contracts. "He's optimistic that this deal will get done shortly, to be announced by July 1st," LeBrun said. 

LeBrun also quoted Bowman at length in a "Rumblings" blog post over at ESPN.com. "I'm very optimistic about [extending Kane and Toews], the Blackhawks general manager said. "I know [from] talking to Pat they certainly want to be in Chicago. It's a negotiation. I would say nothing has changed my thoughts all along, which is we'll get it done. It's still June 11 or 12th, and we've still got a few more weeks before we do anything." 

"Very eager," Bowman continued, addressing the prospect of getting the two deals done by July 1. "That's been our No. 1 objective all along and I'm expecting to meet that."

Jun 6, 7:17 PM

Kane and Toews' agent Pat Brisson targets July 1st for extensions

by Jun 6, 7:17 PM

The Chicago Blackhawks are beginning the process of extending two of their most valuable players in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

Both players have one year left on their deals at $6.3 million. The plan moving forward is to sign the cornerstones of the franchise as soon as free agency hits on July first.

Pierre LeBrun spoke to Pat Brisson, the agent for both Kane and Toews, and told him talks have begun with general manager Stan Bowman.

"I have spoken with Stan a few times already, we've obviously talked about extending both players. We’re working to get something done by July 1, if possible."

Chicago's finest won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Feature photo courtesy of Mike DiNovo / USA TODAY Sports

Jun 3, 6:55 PM

Blackhawks GM Bowman on extending Kane and Toews: 'The highest priority for us'

by Jun 3, 6:55 PM

Off of the ice, they're like the Odd Couple. On it, they're the backbone of a club that has twice emerged as Stanley Cup champions in the past five years and looks to be competitive (and then some) for years to come. 

Also, Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are in their mid-20s, and in roughly 13 months they'll hit the open market as unrestricted free agents if they so choose. They'd be easily the most accomplished, highly coveted players to hit the open market in the salary cap era.

So it comes as no surprise that Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has zero intention of seeing that come to pass. "It's the highest priority for us looking at next year," Bowman said of inking Toews and Kane to contract extensions per ESPN Chicago. "There's no doubt that's what we're going to do. I've made it clear. We've never wavered from that. There's no doubting the importance of those two players."

Bowman elaborated on their importance nonetheless, describing them as saviors of sorts for the franchise:

At the beginning, I sort of talked about the franchise in general and the direction we've taken, and it's really been tandem with those two players. When Patrick and Jonathan came onto the scene, it really sort of breathed life into the franchise and into our team. I think there was excitement. Certainly the success of the team has helped reach the level that it's at now. They've played a huge part in this.

Kane and Toews are both represented by super agent Pat Brisson, and signed identical five-year extensions that kicked in upon the expiry of their respective entry-level deals. Both players expressed a willingness to remain in Chicago for the balance of their careers on Tuesday.

"Who could ever think of a better situation to be in?" Toews asked rhetorically. "I think back to the day that I was drafted. I had absolutely no idea all this would be in store for me in my short career so far ... There's no doubt in my mind there's no better way to have it, I guess, as a hockey player."

Kane echoed those sentiments, saying: "I know that we both love it here in Chicago, and we love playing here and having the chance to win every year."

Bowman, meanwhile, expressed optimism that deals with his club's two superstars would get done. "I don't want to speak for them, but I know in my conversations it's been all very positive," Bowman said. "They've loved the experience here. The one think I know about both of them is they want to win. Bottom line, you take all the things set them aside, they're winners and they want to win, and we're committed to winning."

The question of course isn't whether or not Kane and Toews will remain in Chicago. Everybody assumes they will. The question is what will it cost. 

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin signed a 8-year, $76-million dollar contract extension last summer - the high watermark for deal signed under the new-ish contract guidelines stipulated by the 2013 NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement. Toews and Kane may cut the Blackhawks a modest "hometown discount," but their new deals will most likely be in a similar neighborhood.