Contract extension talks in Chicago are underway for both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and, if reports prove accurate, they could be two of the richest deals in NHL history.
The pair have reportedly opened negotiations by each asking for $12 million annually in salary, per TSN. While it’s expected both will come down from that number, TSN’s Bob McKenzie suggests both could still average out $10M on a yearly basis:
It’s believed Kane-Toews initial ask of CHI on extension is around $12M/yr each. They’ll end up lower but still could be $10M+ AAV players.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 26, 2014
The NHL’s current highest cap hit belongs to Alex Ovechkin at $9.53M, followed by Evgeni Malkin at $9.5M. As such, Kane and Toews potentially breaking the double-digit threshold is big news — lest we forget that, at the time of writing, only nine players total across the league carry a cap hit of $8 million or higher: Ovechkin, Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Corey Perry, Henrik Lundqvist, Claude Giroux, Eric Staal, Ryan Getzlaf and Phil Kessel.
You’ll also note that only two sets of those — Perry and Getzlaf, Crosby and Malkin — play on the same team.
‘Hawks GM Stan Bowman, who held a pre-draft conference call on Thursday, refused to comment on negotiations regarding any of his players, so reporters got little on where contract talks stand, or if McKenzie’s report was accurate.
Bowman’s silence won’t quiet the rumors surrounding his team, however. Even though agent Rick Curran angrily shot it down, a report of Chicago making Patrick Sharp available via trade gained plenty of steam this week and if this Kane/Toews report proves true, it’ll only get steamier — Sharp is on the books at $5.9 through 2017; Kane and Toews each have one year left at $6.3M and are obviously going to get more.
Given the hefty deals already in place for Corey Crawford ($6 million annually), Brent Seabrook ($5.8), Duncan Keith ($5.5) and Marian Hossa ($5.275) well…you can do the math.