It marked the beginning of their success together. The ending is still nowhere in sight.
Kane and Toews continued to align their NHL careers Wednesday by both agreeing to eight-year contract extensions which a source says are for $10.5 million per year, keeping them Blackhawks through the 2022-23 season.
Their arrival in 2007 represented hope for an Original Six organization which had fallen on hard times for nearly a decade. They haven't disappointed since.
Over the past seven seasons, Kane and Toews have played in nearly 500 regular-season games together. After four consecutive sub-.500 seasons prior to their rookie season, the Blackhawks have since gone 309-163-68 with them. The two players have combined for 933 regular-season points, including 375 goals.
As good as they've been in the regular season, they've been even more clutch when it's mattered most in the playoffs. They returned the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2009 after five seasons of failing to do so and immediately helped them to the Western Conference finals. A year later, they both raised their first Stanley Cup and ended the franchise's 49-year championship drought. They've since led the Blackhawks to a second Stanley Cup and made them a perennial contender.
From Day 1, they have accomplished it all together and never looked to outshine or outdo the other. While they already have money and fame, they could have even more. All it would have taken is one slightly larger ego, and they may have never agreed to identical five-year, $31.5 million contract extensions the first time around and certainly not their newest contracts.
Kane and Toews are being paid like superstars, but they could have certainly asked for more and would have had their share of more significant offers to choose from if they had waited to go onto the free market after next season. They left money on the table, allowing the Blackhawks some cap flexibility. The Blackhawks may have to eventually let some core pieces go and turn to their prospects who are NHL ready, but they should be Stanley Cup contenders for the foreseeable future.
The Blackhawks' main objective with that additional money will be re-signing Brandon Saad to a new contract. Saad will be a restricted free agent after next season, and there has to be some fear another team will come along with an offer sheet if he's allowed to get that far. Considering he's 21, has shown improvement in each of his first two seasons and the cap is expected to rise, Saad could fetch somewhere between $4-7 million a season.
Kane and Toews permitted their careers to be harmonious, realizing their opportunity in Chicago is rare and can ultimately elevate them to a special place in NHL history.
Kane, at 25 years old, and Toews, at 26, didn't attach themselves together through their athletic primes and into their 30s to make a run at just one or two more Stanley Cups in Chicago. They're out to deliver to the Blackhawks what Michael Jordan once bestowed upon the Chicago Bulls.
Like Jordan, to honor Kane's and Toews' shared success and shared commitment to the Blackhawks, the organization will undoubtedly unveil matching statues of them outside the United Center whenever they decide to retire. It'll be a fitting end to their NHL journey, as they'll have a permanent place on Madison together side by side.
A $20 million jump for "after hockey earnings"? How much should my "after career earnings" be?
Interest? Investments? Real Estate? This guy graduated from Harvard. If you don't think he stood to make a LOT of money, you're out of your mind. Don't be hateful; the money isn't coming out of your pocket, it's coming from the NHL- a group of individuals who did everything in their power to essentially cover this up and make it his fault.
Also, there are such things a PUNITIVE damage. Better known as, "Since you screwed up, we're not only giving him COMPENSANTORY damages for what he lost out on personally, but we're penalizing you for your role."
Not to mention prevailing plantiff $$$. Basically, in a civil court, the court can put a percentage on negligent responsibility of both parties- meaning that the plaintiff may only be awarded a "partial win" in that they too were worthy of a portion of blame for the incident and therefore not entitled to all of the money they are seeking. But if they are labeled a prevailing plantiff, it means that they are reasonably entited to having attorneys' fees paid for by the other party due to their "prevailing" win.
I'd sign subban for7 or 8m and gladly lose four first rounders when you get a guy like that. But like others have said it will never happen for various reasons.
Risk Management. You can sign a guy like that, use up 1/9th of your cap space, move him into a different system, and pray that he still performs at the same level-- all while giving up chances in the next FOUR drafts to make up for it if he busts, or you can pass, fill from within, or take a shot in the next FOUR DRAFTS to find FOUR players who have similar potential to be as good.
Do you even watch the wings? Like I'm not tryig to be mean...but really. Do you not remember ANDERSON as our top line center? What caused that? Injuries. The same injury prone players being injured and you think it's going to change this year why?
Why do you think year after year when the same players are injured Itll change this year? Legwand is just a cheap insurance policy that we now wont have.
Are you kidding??? Who was injured when AndersSon was playing??? Datsyuk... Zetterberg...Helm... Weiss... all those guys we just listed. DEPTH = 6-8 guys who can play center, NOT who can play center ON THE FIRST LINE.
I get the feeling you just like to argue with people. Half your arguments make no sense, other than to rile people up.
LOL As someone who was expecting big things this off-season and is HIGHLY disappointed... it's a SHAME to think some of you are so blinded by your hatred for KH that you don't think this team can compete.
NOBODY thought the Rangers would come out of the East- not with the Bruins, Penguins, Canadiens, or Red Wings in the playoffs.
But they did. Because they made a good move at the deadline, were healthy, and believed in themselves.
Do you all think that Nyquist, Sheahan, Jurco, Smith, Tatar, and DeKeyser are ALL going to play WORSE than they did last year?? Let's say Nyquist regresses to a norm of 25-goals... with Zetterberg and Datsyuk back, that should be enough! If Weiss puts up even just 40 assists, this team is going to be better. The strides made between years one and two are usually very noticeable (ie. Brendan Smith, anyone?). And if you think all of the rookies are going to regress, why not have some faith that Kindl improves to his average after an awful season last year?
This isn't a bad team. This team should finish anywhere from 4th-10th in the conference. You don't initiate a firesale before the season's began if you know you have a fighting shot.
If you would have told me the Red Wings signed absolutely nobody, I would have been okay with that, over the alternative. Bringing back Quincey to play in a system that doesn't work for him doesn't make a lick of sense to me.
Great? No. Better than Quincey at $4.25M for TWO years (with Ouellet and Sproul coming on strong)? NO THANKS!
Is it what I wanted? No. Is it OMG FIRE EVERYBODY horrible? No. I don't like Franzen, I wish we were able to get Iginla, and I have NEVER liked Weiss -- even the day he was signed. But do I think it gets us to the playoffs? Yes. Do I think there are pieces that can be moved around for a run at a dominant blueliner or winger? Sure. Drew Stafford, Bobby Ryan, Martin St. Louis, and Chris Stewart are all candidates to move on after this upcoming year. Paul Martin and Mike Green might be moved, too, as their teams won't be able to pay them for extensions. The team has trade pieces and I wouldn't mind seeing a guy like Tatar being moved straight up at the deadline for a player whom won't remain with his current team anyway.
This team isn't broken by any means. And further strides by Smith and DeKeyser could make a world of difference in the top-4.
Let's play a game... which of the signings do you feel WEREN'T overpayments, and you truly wish KH beat?
That's it. The rest of these were significant overpayments and no guarantee to be better than what we have for the price they're at. If you could have guaranteed me the team was able to move Weiss, then I'd say sure sign Stastny for $7.25M AAV... other than that, this wasn't a particularly strong FA class. I like Ouellet to win a spot and produce moreso than Niskanen or any guy not named Ehroff or Boyle -- but not at three years....
The team has a number of players whom are seemingly loaded with potential: Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan, Mantha, Jurco, Sproul, Ouellet.... That's four wingers and a center with top-six potential (say, Nyquist-?-Mantha as a top line & Tatar-Sheahan-Jurco as the second) going forward. Ouellet and Sproul project to top-4 defensemen. Same with DeKeyser and Smith. Who knows if they're all going to pan out, but we're not the Panthers or Islanders by any means. We still have a core of other quality players, including Kronwall, Ericsson, Zetterberg, and Datsyuk. Helm and Abdelkader should be quality third-line guys.... this team is still a playoff-contending team.
That being said.. I'm not happy with today. But that doesn't mean it's time to abandon ship by any means.
Dude, really? The Kings finished SIXTH in their conference and are now on their way to winning another Stanley Cup. Nobody picked them over the likes of Chicago and the Blues to make the finals. Even then, they beat three teams in a row who ALL had home ice advantage. That's a significant thing to accomplish in the NHL playoffs.
Similar thing in the East- the talk was who could compete with the physicality of the Bruins or the skill of the Penguins? Montreal was the only other team to get significant love. The Rangers were an afterthought.
So, yeah, swinging a trade for Legwand and making the playoffs could have been the catalyst for this team. Could you imagine if Zetterberg had his legs under him and Ericsson was playing? Totally different defense, too! No more Kindl-Lashoff pairing...