James Neveau

Toews, Kane Lose Status as NHL's Highest-Paid Players

Chicago Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews shared the distinction of having the NHL’s highest salary cap hit for two years, but next summer, they will lose that title.

That is because Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid has signed an eight-year contract that will pay him a total of $100 million. That averages out to $12.5 million, and it outpaces the $10.5 million apiece that Kane and Toews are paid by the Blackhawks.

McDavid’s new deal will take effect next July, meaning that Kane and Toews will technically own the title of highest annual salary cap hit for another year.

Kane and Toews signed the identical contracts that took effect before the 2015-16 season. The deals, the richest in the NHL at the time, have caused some salary cap issues for the Blackhawks, who have had to jettison players like Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad, and Artemi Panarin as a result of the lack of salary cap space.

Starting next year, Kane and Toews will also be joined in the $10.5 million club by Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, who signed an extension worth that amount annually. His current deal, which pays him $6.5 million annually, will expire next summer, and his new eight-year contract will kick in then.

Currently, Anze Kopitar trails Kane and Toews by just $500,000, with a $10 million annual cap hit. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin ($9.54 million) and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin ($9.5 million) round out the top five. 

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