Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has some work to do this offseason, and before he starts adding players from outside the organization (perhaps a second line center), his priority seems to be working out new deals for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
And he wants both of them taken care of by July 1.
"That’s been our No. 1 objective all along," Bowman said on Wednesday, via Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun Times. "And I’m expecting to meet that."
Toews and Kane are both entering the final year of their matching five-year, $31.5 million contracts and are eligible to sign new deals on July 1 (terms can be agreed to before then) and it's pretty much guaranteed that they're going to be pretty significant raises. Just for comparisons sake, Pittsburgh recently signed its superstar duo of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby to long-term contracts that are worth $9.5 million and $8.7 million, the second- and third-largest cap hits in the league.
Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf signed $8 million per year deals in Anaheim.
Chicago's duo will likely come in around that same area. According to the CBA, they can sign deals that are a maximum of eight years in length.
Toews and Kane are the foundation of a Chicago team that has won two of the past four Stanley Cups and reached the Western Conference Final this season, losing to the Los Angeles Kings in seven games. With those two in place, the Blackhawks have been one of the most successful organizations in the NHL and both are just now entering the prime years of their career.