Blackhawks president McDonough: Toews, Kane 'symbols of the renaissance'

Jul 16, 5:17 PM

The Chicago Blackhawks formally announced the signings of forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to matching eight-year, $84-million contract extensions on Wednesday. 

Team president John McDonough hailed the pair as responsible for putting Chicago hockey back on the map.

General manager Stan Bowman added the following:

[Toews and Kane] lead our team, on and off the ice. We've accomplished a lot with them here, and I'm excited about what's ahead.

Toews added a touch of humor to the proceedings, commenting on the state of the pair's relationship off the ice.

Kane offered a more earnest comment in regards to the captain.

Kane also credited head coach Joel Quenneville with helping him become a more well-rounded player.

"It was not even really a thought to think of continuing your career anywhere else," he said.

Toews commented on how the pair has been surrounded by a great supporting cast, recognizing the success they've had in Chicago is due in large part to the rest of the roster. Bowman, however, acknowledged the franchise will be in a decent spot for the duration of their contracts.

Kane was asked about off-ice issues that faced him in the past and whether it ever occurred to him that the team may decide to move on. 

"Everyone kind of goes through their different maturation process," he said, "and maybe mine was a little delayed compared to other guys."

Finally, Toews summed up the twin extensions by saying. "It would be kind of weird to be on a team without Kaner."

It seems as though the Blackhawks, and the hockey world in general, won't need to imagine that scenario any time soon.

Later, the pair's agent revealed his clients received a healthy, guaranteed bonus.

Feature photo courtesy of USA Today Sports/Rob Grabowski

Jul 16, 12:18 PM

Blackhawks' Quenneville on having Kane, Toews re-signed: 'a great deal for everyone'

Jul 16, 12:18 PM

There might be no one who benefits more from the recent eight-year, $84 million long-term contract extensions signed by superstar Chicago Blackhawks forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane than head coach Joel Quenneville

An argument could be made for Toews and Kane's chartered accountants perhaps, or their families, or their shared agent Pat Brisson, and of course the hardcore Blackhawks fans who remained loyal through the worst excesses of the Bill Wirtz years. That's about it though. 

So, unsurprisingly, Quenneville is pumped to have two of the game's premiere forwards committed to the club he manages for the foreseeable future.

"It's great news for the organization, good news for the coaching staff, great news for the players and the fans and the team going forward," Quenneville said on "The Coach Q Show" on WGN-720 AM on Wednesday morning via Scott Powers of "I think it's a great deal for everyone, and we're happy to have them.

Continued Quenneville:

It benefits everybody. It says a lot about what kind of guys these guys are ... I guess the way they've gelled in the community and been a part of Chicago sports history in a short amount of time is special. I think everybody should take part of that responsibility. Hey, they're a part of it here. 

Certainly we're very happy Jonny and Kaner chose to stay here long term and be Blackhawks forever, which is unique in today's league, today's game, so we're very fortunate. We see a lot of good things [going] forward with these two guys.

Though the long-tenured and long-mustachioed head coach, who is up to third in all-time NHL coaching wins thanks in large part to the contributions of Kane and Toews, feels "fortunate" to be coaching a squad led by such talented players; he's still reluctant to play his two superstars together regularly.

"You know you have a lot of offense coming in a lot of different areas," Quenneville explained on Wednesday. "I still think they like playing with one another. As a coach, it's almost like we like you playing together, but spread out it makes us a much better team and it's nice to have lot of options as you go throughout the year and as you go into the playoffs."

That last quote has to be music to the ears of recently signed center Brad Richards.

Feature photo courtesy of REUTERS/Steve Marcus