There was never really a question of if Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane would sign long-term extensions with the Chicago Blackhawks. It was when would they sign.
While general manager Stan Bowman’s original target date of July 1 wasn’t met, he still got it done pretty damn quick.
Toews and Kane each agreed to terms on eight-year extensions on Wednesday, as the Blackhawks wrapped up their top tandem for the long term. Sportsnet reported that the deals are worth $84 million each, a cap hit of $10.5 million.
The Blackhawks will have a press conference on the signings some time next week.
Bowman has been confident for some time that the deals would get done. He praised the players' agent, Pat Brisson, as being one of the best in the business and talks, from all outward appearances, went swimmingly. Toews and Kane made it clear they weren’t interested in going elsewhere, with the Blackhawks’ core firmly in place and the potential here to win more Stanley Cups.
“Jonathan and Patrick have become cornerstones of this franchise during their time in Chicago," Bowman said in a statement. "We are excited to ensure they will continue to lead our organization for years to come."
Toews said at the team's closing meetings in June that he couldn't imagine a better situation to be in than with the Blackhawks. He reiterated that on Wednesday in a statement.
“There's no organization in sports that cares more about the overall experience of their fans and the success of their players," he said. "To have the chance to continue with this amazing group of teammates and people throughout the organization is an incredible honor. There's nothing we want more as players than to continue to win Stanley Cups for the best hockey fans on the planet.”
Kane echoed that sentiment.
"It's great to be able to continue my career in Chicago. Playing with the best organization in sports and the best fans in the game is a blessing," he said. "Since I was drafted by the Blackhawks, the people of Chicago have really embraced me and treated me with nothing but respect. I look forward to many more years of success with the Blackhawks."
Sure, everyone had to wait a few more days than originally expected to see the Toews and Kane deals signed, sealed and delivered. So be it. The numbers work, the duo is happy to continue on here. It's Chicago: projects here are rarely done by their targeted date. But this one, done within two weeks of Toews and Kane being eligible to re-sign, couldn't have had a better finish.