Chicago Blackhawks: Five Reasons To Be Excited For 2015-16

By Ericka McFee
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Oct 17, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center

Jonathan Toews

(19) talks with right wing

Patrick Kane

(88) against the St. Louis Blues during the second period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

4. Great expectations (or, a tale of two contracts)

If you ask any Chicago Blackhawks fan (or just about any hockey fan, period) to rate the performances of captain Jonathan Toews and fellow star forward Patrick Kane, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who truly thinks they are anything short of exceptional (much as our rivals hate to admit). Fine and good, when they were making a “paltry” $6.3 million per season. But this year, the new $10.5 million contracts kick in. That’s $21 million for two players, taking up a sizable portion of the $71.4 million cap. The ink wasn’t even dry when everyone knew what that meant: losing some key players from the core.

The big question on everyone’s mind (at least outside of Chicago) is whether the dynamic duo will live up to those contracts. General Manager Stan Bowman thinks they are “worth every penny.” To fans, Captain Clutch and Showtime are priceless. And they are no doubt aware of the high expectations that their new contracts will bring. If anyone can step up their (already ridiculously remarkable) game, these two can. But we will also need to rely on some fresh faces to fill in the big shoes left behind by the likes of Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya

Next: What's No. 3 Reason To Be Excited?

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