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Toews: It’d be tough to find reasons to leave Chicago

Sep 13, 2013, 9:56 AM EDT

Jonathan Toews Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks already have a little over $41 million in cap space committed to seven players for the 2015-16 campaign and that doesn’t include Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews as they are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2015.

When faced with questions about that potential cap issue after handing lucrative extensions to Corey Crawford, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Bryan Bickell, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman firmly stated that Kane and Toews “will be here forever.”

That message resonated with the team’s captain.

“It meant a lot to hear that,” Toews said, according to CSN Chicago. He later added, “Right now, it would be tough to find a reason to play somewhere else. There’s no place better to play hockey.”

The question is if those feelings will lead him and Kane to accept a hometown discount. If they sign at market value on top of Chicago’s other commitments, then Bowman could potentially have the vast majority of his cap tied to just nine players — depending on how much the ceiling rises over the next couple years. In that scenario, assembling the depth needed to excel in the playoffs would be a challenge.

  1. faustandrew - Sep 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Toews would take a hometown discount most likely but Kane might go elsewhere. I think Toews buys into the fact he could be the next HOF out of Chicago, and have 19 retired one day… on the other hand, as good as Kane was last year, he hasn’t been the best team player Chicago ever has had.

    Keep in mind, Kaner is my favorite player so by no means am I saying he doesn’t want to be in Chicago nor am I saying he doesn’t deserve top money, but if push comes to shove and hes looking at having to accept a sizable pay cut to stay in Chicago, I could see him looking around New York for bigger bucks. Winning a couple cups in Chicago helps their case greatly but already speaking in “murky” terms about the future worries me a bit.

  2. 13datsyuk13 - Sep 13, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Pittsburgh seems just fine tying up all their money in a few players.

  3. esracerx46 - Sep 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    I think it would behoove the Hawks marketing department to find supplementary sources of income for these two. The salary these two can command is only a small percent of what they can earn. Together the 2 of them are a brand and can earn significantly more than any NHL team can offer them separately.

  4. multiplemiggs - Sep 13, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    and by saying New York do you mean the Islanders? Have u seen the rangers cap situation? plus the Isles will be on Brooklyn by then.

    • faustandrew - Sep 13, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      I meant Buffalo or NYR. Cap situations change yearly, pal.

  5. blackhawkboy1 - Sep 13, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I don’t think any of the comments are wrong. You are very correct in earning potential in Chicago. Especially for Kaner, who hasn’t really seen a camera angle he didn’t like. They both have big Chevy details, but I think if they look at hometown guys like Chelios who was able to maintain a presence even while playing for the enemy, they will be just fine. They have been company men, and done well. Let’s see if it becomes a show me the money situation later. I hope not.

    • esracerx46 - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Chelios was from the Chicago area. So that may have something to do with his image, which was in fact tarnished while he was in Detroit.

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