Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson left no doubt of his intention to rebuild his roster after shipping out Brandon Hagel and Marc-Andre Fleury before the trade deadline. That's raising questions over where long-time Blackhawks stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews fit into the club's plans.
Cap Friendly indicates both players have a year remaining on their identical contracts, with each carrying a $10.5 million cap hit for next season along with full no-movement clauses.
Toews didn't hide his disappointment over the club's recent moves, calling the departures of Hagel and Fleury “disheartening” following the deadline. Kane, meanwhile, called Hagel's trade “a bit of a shocking move”.
Kane indicated he's still happy in Chicago but deferred questions about his future with the Blackhawks to the off-season. Toews also said he loves the Blackhawks but admitted to musing about what it would feel like playing for another club.
Following the deadline, The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported agent Pat Brisson will meet this week with Davidson. It's expected he'll want to discuss where clients Kane, Toews and Seth Jones fit into the club's plans. NBC Sports Chicago's Charlie Roumeliotis reported the Hawks GM intends on keeping dialogue open with his club's long-time stars.
LeBrun believes Kane could attract considerable interest if he became available this summer. With 21 goals and 76 points in 61 games, the 33-year-old right winger remains a productive NHL star.
Toews, meanwhile, has struggled with 26 points in 54 games after missing all of last season with chronic immune response syndrome. Combined with the rigors of his two-way game, the 33-year-old captain's best seasons appear to be behind him.