The Chicago Blackhawks announced the signing of their Captain Jonathan Toews and their sniper Patrick Kane to brand new 8 year – 84 million dollar contract extensions yesterday, and in the process just set themselves up as contenders for the next decade.
There are some out there that are saying that the Hawks signing these two players to long term big money contracts is a mistake, let me just say that I am glad they don’t run hockey franchises.
Love them or hate them, the reason why Chicago is so good is because NOW they are well managed.
Yes, because they were terrible they had Toews fall in their lap with the third pick overall in 2006…and they were even worse in 2007 and selected Patrick Kane with the #1 pick.
But the Hawks even through their misery and subsequent rebirth have realized that you build around your home grown talent, and if you do it right you don’t need to blow your brains out on July 1st when the free agents wash ashore.
Pop quiz, how many free agents did the LA Kings sign on July 1 last year…the answer is zero…they won the Stanley Cup.
In 2013, the Blackhawks signed a grand total of…ZERO free agents…and they won the Stanley Cup.
This is a copycat league, and teams are starting to realize that you cannot buy your way out of trouble. You must develop your own talent to succeed.
So as subsequent free agent days come up in the years to come, the actual talent that hits the market will be less and less as teams lock up their stars as early as possible.
So when you see teams snap up players on July 1, keep in mind that they are desperate, or in Vancouver’s case, needed to do so to clean up someone else’s mess.