The Chicago Blackhawks wanted the process to be as painless as possible. General manager Stan Bowman said he wanted Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to be Blackhawks "forever," and both players made it clear that they had no intentions of leaving the Windy City.
So once the offseason rolled around, it wasn't really a question of if Toews and Kane would re-sign, it was a matter of when.
When it came down to it, neither player wanted to make a big deal of the extensions; after going step-for-step together throughout their careers, they were just happy to get the deal done.
"I texted Kaner a few times to make sure we were on the same page," Toews said. "And he said, 'yep,' and the rest is history."
When it came down to the numbers, Kane said it wasn't absolutely necessary that their contracts matched, but that it made for an easier situation moving forward.
"We kind of knew going into this summer that something was going to get done and we could have matching, identical contracts again," he said. "Sometimes you see players around the league that have different contracts and they're pretty much the same player on the same team and I thought that was weird a little. So it makes it easier for us that we have the same matching contracts. It probably helps that we have the same agent as well. It seemed like it just kind of fit."
Since Toews and Kane signed their eight-year, $84 million deals, there have been questions as to how much that will affect the Blackhawks' cap space beginning at the 2015-16 season. But Bowman has since said that the team has a "good idea" of what they'll do to manage those numbers, and it sure doesn't hurt that the cap has continued to go up.
"We like to think that we maintain a good balance between something that's manageable for our team to make sure that we're going to continue to be successful," Toews said. "We'll never deny the fact that we're part of a very special group of players that have enabled us to have a lot of the individual success that's been noticeable. So at the end of the day, there's that. And on the other side, we feel there's a number we deserve and are happy with.
"So far it's worked out and I'm sure as the game keeps growing, the Hawks will have a team that will be successful for years to come."