Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews became the NHL’s first $10-plus million cap hits last week and, according to their agent, those figures could’ve been even higher.
During Wednesday’s presser to announce the signings, Pat Brisson — who represented both Kane and Toews in negotiations — said the two each could’ve fairly asked for $13.8 million per season, the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement.
Pat Brisson says Toews and Kane could have commanded the max of $13.8M, but wanted to keep the “puzzle” together. #Blackhawks
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) July 16, 2014
Per the CBA, teams are allowed to offer players a maximum of 20 percent of the salary cap. With it being set at $69 million for next season, Kane and Toews could’ve combined for a staggering $27.6 million cap hit, which is a whole lotta cash.
(Worth noting that, in the first three years of their deals, both will earn $13.8M in salary, a figure that drops off in subsequent years…)
It boggles the mind to think what $13.8M cap hits would’ve done to Chicago’s financial outlook, especially since things could get tight in the Windy City once Kane and Toews’ $10.5M per extensions kick in after next season. Per Capgeek, the club will have just 15 players under contract for $65 million in 2015-16, and there are some big negotiations on the horizon: Brandon Saad, a budding star in his own right, will need a new deal after next season; same goes for versatile center Marcus Kruger and offensive defenseman Nick Leddy.
(Blueliner Johnny Oduya is a UFA after next season too.)
All that said, both Kane and Toews made a point of saying their new extensions were designed to keep the team together, not blow it apart.
“With the cap rising, we feel pretty comfortable about where our deals were at to still have good players around us,” Kane said, per NBC Chicago.