The Chicago Blackhawks have scheduled a 2 p.m. press conference at the United Center to formally announce new contracts for Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith.
It’s believed that the initially reported years (five each for Kane and Toews, 13 for Keith) are the lengths of the deals. TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting Wednesday night that Kane and Toews’ deals will average $6.3 million per season, while Keith’s will average $5.54 million. Another rumor was that the NHL was reviewing Keith’s deal closely because of issues the league, and players’ association, had with longer deals like the one Marian Hossa received from the Hawks this summer. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting that the league has approved Keith’s contract, though.
TSN is also reporting that the Blackhawks have not cleared the “tagging room” hurdle, however. That means another move could come as early as tonight to clear cap space on next year’s payroll. Rumors have swirled recently including Cam Barker, Brent Sopel and Patrick Sharp. The Hawks likely will need to either trade a player or move one through waivers to make space for the new deals.
As more information becomes available, we’ll update you with the latest.