Blackhawks Preserve Toews and Kane’s Careers With Contractual Restraint

December 3rd, 2009 by Steven Ovadia Leave a reply »
NHL GMs are falling in love with the long-term contract.

What's not to love?

Since cap hits are calculated using the average annual value of the contract, superstars can be retained with front-loaded contracts that are relatively easy to buy out toward the end of a career, thus taking the sting out of a hefty superstar salary.

The downside? You're basically saddled with a player who could seriously deteriorate before it's financially viable to buy-out the contract.

That's what makes Chicago's recent signing so very interesting. On the one hand, you had the team holding onto defenseman Duncan Keith with a 13-year, $72 million contract, which works out to a cap hit of around $5.5 million per year.

The length isn't horrifying when you consider how gracefully defensemen tend to age and the annual cap hit is certainly reasonable.

What was even more impressive were the signings of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to five-year $31.5 million contracts, which turns into an annual cap hit of $6.3 million per year, a high number, but well within the norm for two rising NHL stars.

The lengths of the contracts ar ...

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