Chicago, IL – Well for eight more years Chicago gets to eat it’s steak and crème brulee too when the Chicago Blackhawks inked Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to long term contracts that will keep the Blackhawks as Stanley Cup contenders for years to come and Hawks fans are very happy.
There is no question that both of them deserved their contracts after turning the franchise around and bringing multiple championships to Chicago. Stan Bowman had probably one of the simplest decisions he will ever have to make. Both are beloved in Chicago and the face of the franchise and sports legends in this city.
They fill the seats at the United Center. One could argue that the Hawks actually got off cheap. It’s not to hard to sell even non-hockey fans when you have fresh young skilled talent that play a brand of hockey that is exciting and competitive. The Hawks did what they had to do yesterday.
NHL network analyst Kevin Weekes tweeted what best sums up the situation:
Kevin Weekes @KevinWeekes • Jul 9
@NHLBlackhawks Reward their players.No moving the ‘Goal Line’ the way some other teams have.Draft,develop,perform,win and Reward players.
That formula is how it should be for all NHL teams but it is not and that is what separates the Blackhawks from other organizations and why Kane & Toews remain in the red, black & white.
It’s hard to believe that both Toews and Kane are just coming into their prime and probably already qualify for the Hall of Fame. There is no question there will one day be statues of these two players along with the current ones of Hull and Mikita outside the United Center.
Now normally you don’t want to hand out bouquets to 25/26 year olds even after all of the achievements that they have made to date for risking them resting on their laurels. There is no such fear with these two.
They are cut slightly different but from the same cloth and that cloth is named – competitive. I know everyone thinks Jonathan Toews is the serious one but make no mistake Kane is equally competitive and they have a healthy rivalry with each other that pushes them and probably the team to succeed. If one of them scores a goal then the other one scores a goal ect.
You can tell also that both of them love the game of hockey and really enjoy playing. You can also tell that they also enjoy playing with each other and respect each other’s games and skill sets even if they do occasionally get on each others nerves. Neither of them lose focus on what is most important – winning.
On the subject of seriousness, Toews is not quite as serious as everyone thinks except maybe about hockey and that is a good thing. I say own your seriousness Jonny Chicago loves you for it and how can anyone not love Patrick Kane who is dipped in charm.
We here in Chicago have literally seen these two grow up before our eyes and we are fortunate enough to get to see them continue on here in Chicago as they do enter their primes.
Their temperaments give the team balance. You can have two highly skilled players but the chemistry and balance isn’t always there. Yes they are also surrounded by other skilled players on the core but it is these two that drive the bus just in different ways.
Does anyone think that either of these players likes to lose? They both realize they have a rare opportunity to do something here that maybe cannot be done in the salary cap era. Speaking of the salary cap there is no question that the Hawks future was also set in stone with the signings.
Managing the cap has never become more imperative and prospecting both on the amateur and professional side for years to come. Stan Bowman and his staff are up to the task. Will it be easy? No but nothing worth having or doing is.
Here is where the Blackhawks fans can help want to make the cap go up, want to see exciting hockey at the UC then get out there and go to the games, buy Blackhawks items tune into the games if you can’t afford a ticket as it will increase rating which increase sponsorship and advertisers.
Will the core be able to stay together after the 2014-15 season? That is the only question that remains. So far Stan Bowman has treated his players fairly and honestly so we have to assume that will continue. Will all of the core be here after next season? Who knows, but there are two players on that core that we all know are irreplaceable and Bowman now has them signed til 2022-23.
Captain Everything and Showtime will be gracing the ice on Madison for years to come which makes this Hawks fan very happy.