Hossa to Chicago Blackhawks May Mean Ticket Out for Kane or Toews

Matt Hutter@mahutter12Analyst IJuly 2, 2009

DETROIT - JUNE 12:  Marian Hossa #81 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during Game Seven of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Maybe it was a car, maybe a big screen TV, but, at some point, you've probably made a big purchase that you came to regret later.

Often times, you leave the house with a budget in mind, something you know you will not go beyond.

But then, you get to the show room and all of a sudden you see that for just a few thousand more, you can upgrade to a leather package and power everything.

But wait, the XL class comes standard with leather, plus seat warmers and an eight speaker surround sound system and DVD player.

Hey, that's the better value, right?

You drive off the lot that day happy as could be.

Then, a few months later, you wonder if any of that car is edible, because your grocery money is now paying for those leather seats.

Marian Hossa is definitely a top of the line, luxury model of a player.

But, when it comes time to sign Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews to long-term deals, will Chicago GM Dale Tallon regret the deal he made today?

Getting Hossa at $5 million annual cap hit is absolute larceny.

It took a ridiculously long 12 year deal to do it, but that, in and of itself, was a great move by Tallon.

Additionally, by letting goalie Nikolai Khabibulin and oft-injured forward Martin Havlat go to Edmonton and Minnesota respectively, Tallon has about $7 million in cap space to play with after the Hossa signing.

Not a bad position to be in.

However, Kane and Toews will be RFA's next year and will be owed raises several times their current salaries of roughly $850k each.

Barring some calamitous injury or mental breakdown, Kane and Toews will continue to be two of the most talented and exciting players to watch next year and will undoubtedly prove even more valuable to their team than they have in the past.

As the Blackhawks can now be penciled in as a perennial playoff team, Kane and Toews will have an even bigger opportunity to shine during the playoffs.

Does anyone think that one or both won't be signed to a gargantuan offer sheet next summer?

Granted, if Tallon can get them signed during the season, the point is moot.

But with $7 million in cap space to sign Kane and Toews, he has to believe both would be willing to take unbelievably deep hometown discounts in order to keep them in a Hawks sweater.

We haven't even mentioned Duncan Keith yet.

Along with Brent Seabrook, Keith forms one of the best defensive pairings in the league and when his contract expires after next season, you can bet he's going to be looking for an increase above his current $1.6 million salary.

Using Seabrook as a measuring stick, Keith should command at least $3.5 million his next contract.

So now that's Keith, Kane and Toews, all for $7 million.

Only in Fantasyland would that scenario be possible.

The Hawks' two biggest signings last summer, goalie Christobal Huet and defenseman Brian Campbell, will both eat up more than $12 million in salary for the length of their contracts (Huet's expires in 2012, Campbell's in 2016).

So these are salaries that, barring a trade, will certainly be on the books when Tallon starts to negotiate with his two star forwards and No. 2 defenseman.

Speaking of Huet and Campbell, these were two signings that didn't work out terribly well last year.

Huet rode pine for most of the season and didn't see any playoff action until the Western Conference Finals.

Though he ended his season on an up-note, turning in an absolutely outstanding performance in a Game Five overtime loss, his ability to solidly take on No. 1 goal tending duties is still in question.

Campbell, who has never been a defensive wall, struggled for long stretches in the regular season offensively and exhibited some disturbing defensive lapses during the playoffs.

This provides Dale Tallon with a bit of a quandary.

If they both play up to their contracts next season, he'd be crazy to move them, but would have little cap room to keep the current roster intact.

If they turn in similar performances to the '08-'09 season, they'll be near impossible to move thus, he'd still have little cap room to keep the current roster intact.

Throw in the Hossa signing with all of these factors and it seems unlikely that Kane and Toews will both be calling The Second City "home" for long.

While it was a great hockey move and deftly executed, the Hossa signing will likely have serious repercussions for the Hawks' two biggest stars.


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