Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane have cemented themselves as two of the best players in the NHL for years, and now they're about to be paid like it.
After signing matching eight-year, $84 million contract extensions that kick in this season, the Blackhawks are already feeling the effects against the salary cap. But winning three Stanley Cups in six years makes it easier to swallow and the fact they're both below the age of 28, respectively, makes you believe some of their best hockey could still be ahead of them.
While Toews and Kane's new deals account for nearly 30 percent of the team's salary, Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz believes they're worth as much as they're getting paid.
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“I think that they're quality individuals," Wirtz told the Chicago Tribune editorial board. "They're never satisfied. They're great leaders, and I think they're terrific for the city. As the eight-year contracts go on, I think we'll see they're worth every penny."
Not only that, but could Toews and Kane join Michael Jordan, Stan Mikita, and Bobby Hull with statues outside the United Center one day?
Wirtz briefly addressed that possibility, saying, "In the long run, we'll see if we get a couple of more statues."
Seeing what Toews and Kane have already accomplished in Chicago, it seems like it's only a matter of time when, not if, that happens.