(CBS) Soon enough, Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will be the NHL's highest-paid players after recently signing identical eight-year, $84-million deals that kick in ahead of the 2015-'16 season.
Still, lost in the $10.5-million-per-year hoopla is this: These deals might be a bit of a bargain.
After a press conference to announce the long-term signings of Toews and Kane on Wednesday afternoon at the United Center, the duo's shared agent, Pat Brisson, told the Chicago Sun-Times that each could have commanded a max salary of $13.8 million but chose not to because they wanted the team to have flexibility stay together.
Toews gave some insight into why the two stars were content with the new deals.
"It was the biggest blessing as a hockey player to get drafted (by Chicago)," Toews said. "To think all this was going to happen in a short seven years is pretty amazing. We're really thankful for all those opportunities and everything that's happened to us us so far.
"It's been amazing, and to think, we're going to have a chance to continue this amazing ride we've been on for another eight years at least. So much has happened in the last seven years that we've been Blackhawks. We're very grateful not only to be a part of this organization in this city but to be a part such a part of a special group of guys, teammates we've had … and guys we've won two Stanley Cups with."
Since Toews and Kane entered the league together in 2007, the Blackhawks have won two Stanley Cups and advanced to the Western Conference Final four times.
"You have become two symbols of the renaissance of the Chicago Blackhawks," Blackhawks president/CEO John McDonough told Toews and Kane.
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