The Chicago Blackhawks are going to have a couple of new contracts hitting the books next season, but if reports are correct, they may not have to do too much salary cap wrangling in order to fit everybody onto the roster.
That’s because a report is out from James Mirtle of the Toronto Globe & Mail saying that the NHL is experiencing huge revenue boosts this season. According to the report, the league’s revenue is up around 10 percent from the last full NHL season, and with that growth in revenue, there will likely be a corresponding boost to the league’s salary cap.
This season, the cap was slashed to $64.3 million because of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, but next season, the number very well could go back above the $70 million threshold. Increased league revenue, as well as the new television contract that the league has entered into with Rogers in Canada, will likely continue to push that number higher, meaning that teams like the Blackhawks will be able to continue to invest in their teams.
That will be especially critical for the Hawks next season, as contract extensions for Niklas Hjalmarsson, Corey Crawford, and Brandon Bollig all go on the books. Add to that the fact that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will both be entering the final year of their contracts, and it’s not a stretch to say that GM Stan Bowman will be thrilled with the news that league revenues are on the rise.
Both Kane and Toews are playing under deals that are paying them $6.3 million per season through the end of next year, and will undoubtedly be looking for raises. Odds are that they will both be seeking north of $8 million per season for eight seasons (which is the maximum term on an NHL contract under the new CBA), but with both players hitting the prime of their careers, they could also push their expectation closer to $10 million depending on whether or not they're willing to give the Blackhawks a bit of a hometown discount in order to stay together in the Windy City.