Patrick Kane calls playing for the Chicago Blackhawks and the team’s rabid fan base “a blessing.”
Of course, what else was he going to say after he and teammate Jonathan Toews, as expected, agreed to identical contract extensions on Wednesday, stuffing their respective bank accounts in the process?
The deals, which kick in for the 2015-16 season and run through the 2022-23 campaign, are for eight years and $84 million US -- an average salary of $10.5 million per season.
“When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization,” chairman Rocky Wirtz said. “There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
“The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago. We are excited for our future and proud that they will continue to be a part of that commitment and success for years to come.”
Toews, 26, and Kane, 25, have led the Hawks to Stanley Cup titles in both 2010 and 2013.
“It’s great to be able to continue my career in Chicago,” Kane said. “Playing with the best organization in sports and the best fans in the game is a blessing.
“Since I was drafted by the Blackhawks, the people of Chicago have really embraced me and treated me with nothing but respect. I look forward to many more years of success with the Blackhawks.”
I wonder if Toews has smiled yet?— Patrick Sharp (@10PSharp) July 9, 2014
So, too, does Toews, one of the top captains in the sport.
“I could not be more grateful for the amazing moments and opportunities I’ve been given by the Chicago Blackhawks,” he said. “There’s no organization in sports that cares more about the overall experience of their fans and the success of their players.
“To have the chance to continue with this amazing group of teammates and people throughout the organization is an incredible honour. There’s nothing we want more as players than to continue to win Stanley Cups for the best hockey fans on the planet.”
Toews, who is just entering the prime of his career, already has two Stanley Cup rings and two Olympic gold medals on his impressive resume.
Both Toews and Kane have won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP -- Toews in 2010, Kane in 2013.