Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews signed huge deals during the offseason that made them two of the highest paid players on the Chicago Blackhawks roster. And both star NHL players admitted that those big-money deals have added to the pressure on them as they attempt to lead the team to another Stanley Cup.
"I think front and center is the contracts with Kane and I that are kicking in, and that's where everybody's kind of looking," said Toews, according to ESPN. "I understand that. The two of us have worked hard to own up to that, and I think the pressure will be on us maybe more than it has in past years because of that fact. I think we've been up for challenges like that before, and we're ready for this one, too."
The 26-year-old Kane and the 27-year-old Toews each signed a contract for $84 million over seven years, and each will be paid $10.5 million annually.
"I've thought about it a little bit so far this summer," Kane said. "You want to make sure, especially with a short summer, you're coming back in shape and ready as possible, ready as anyone else in the league because you know you're going to have that expectation and that accountability to step up, that you live up to that contract."
Both earned their contracts after leading Chicago to its sixth Stanley Cup title last season. The eight-year veterans, Kane and Toews were also members of the championship teams in 2010 and 2013.
Kane had 64 points (27 goals and 37 assists), while Toews had 66 points (28 goals and 38 assists) for the Blackhawks during the 2014-2015 regular season. In the playoffs, the pair combined for 44 points (21 goals and 23 assists) on the team's way to an NHL title.