It wasn't a matter of if Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews would sign long-term contract extensions with the Blackhawks, it was always when. The financials, however, is a different story.
After Kane and Toews had officially struck eight-year contract extensions — with an annual cap hit of $10.5 million — Wednesday, it's raised questions about whether the deals will financially handcuff the Blackhawks, who now own the NHL's two highest paid players, in the future.
And it especially might impact the nucleus once their new deals take effect in 2015-16.
"The simple fact of the matter is, they're going to have clear [cap space]. This coming season is the last of the core," Chicago Sun-Times' Mark Lazerus said on SportsTalk Live. "They have one last hurrah. Kane and Toews make $6.3 million next year. After this season, somebody's going to have to go. The math just doesn't simply won't work. I think the Hawks know that. The championship window is now."
87.7 The Game's Mark Carman admitted it may not be so bad if the salary cap continues to increase each year.
"The beauty of this deal is you're getting these guys at the prime of their careers," Carman said, "... so you're basically paying market value now for (whatever you want to call them) two of the top-10 players in the game, and then in five years when the cap keeps on going up, they could very well be a steal."
Check out the entire debate above.