After Corey Crawford received a six-year, $36 million extension, there was some debate over whether the Blackhawks would be able to retain all of their stars given their expanding payroll. GM and Vice President Stan Bowman is looking to squash those discussions.
Bowman told Chicago's official site:
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will be here forever. I can’t predict what the salary cap will be in the near future, but I can tell you that Jonathan and Patrick will be on this team. Those two players put the Blackhawks back on the map, they’re up in a couple years, and whatever the numbers are, we’ll figure out the details. The notion that the money we’re spending now will affect our ability to keep Jonathan and Kane…it’s a non-issue. They will be here no matter what.
Feel free to place Bowman's comments under the "Not Surprising" category. It's really no mystery that the Blackhawks will do whatever they can to keep their two stars in the mix. If you thought the team would let these two walk, you're crazy.
Kane and Toews are both under contract through 2014-15, meaning they'll need a new deal starting in 2015-16. As of this moment, the Blackhawks have a little over $27 million in cap space based on the league's current salary cap. It's fair to assume the league's cap will be significantly higher by 2015-16, which means the Blackhawks should have more than enough room to squeeze in two new large contracts.
It must be nice for Kane and Toews to know that their future is all but officially locked up, but did Bowman have to sound so ominous with his "you're here forever" comment?