It is not a long-term deal (and it helps reach the salary cap floor).
Some fans might not like the $4.5 million Foligno will be taking up in salary cap space. Those fans also need to realize this is not 10 years ago.
The Chicago Blackhawks have more than enough salary cap space to pay for Foligno to be a leader. This is not the Brent Seabrook contract that contributed to the team sinking into this period of being bad.
The Blackhawks have so much cap space that they need to make deals like this just to hit the cap floor.
They have to spend the money, so why not pay your unofficial captain (who might be getting the official nod in the offseason)?
This is part of Davidson's plan to hit the salary cap floor while he stockpiles prospects to be a part of the next great Blackhawks team.
Davidson could do what the Phoenix Coyotes have done and take on LTIR contracts, but then you get no production out of those players.
Foligno might not be the offensive player he once was in his prime, but he can still be productive on the third line. This deal will probably carry him until he is finished with the game (or the game is finished with him).
Once he returns from a broken finger, he should still reach double-digit goals and assists. If he can maintain that solid production during the life of this extension, he can always be moved before the trade deadline in two seasons for a team looking for a battle-tested veteran for a Stanley Cup run.
Right now, the money he will be making does not matter. The years do and it is only two seasons. Hopefully, by the time his deal runs out the Hawks will be ready to compete for the playoffs, and his $4.5 million cap hit can be used for an impact player.