NHL notebook: Blackhawks lock up Kane, Toews with 8-year extensions
• This was a no-brainer from start to finish. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane wanted to stay in Chicago and the Blackhawks wanted to keep the high-scoring forwards in the only NHL uniform they have ever known. All that was left was crunching the numbers on two of the biggest contracts in franchise history. The Blackhawks announced Wednesday they had reached eight-year extensions with two of their top performers in a long run of success that includes Stanley Cup titles in 2010 and 2013. Toews and Kane led Chicago back to the Western Conference final this year, where it lost to the eventual NHL champion Kings. General managerStan Bowman said all along that the extensions were his biggest offseason priority, and it didn't take long to reach the agreements with Pat Brisson, who represents both players. Toews and Kane each have one year left on their five-year extensions from December 2009. Each contract is worth $84 million for an average annual value of $10.5 million, according to an Associated Press report citing an anonymous source. “There's no organization in sports that cares more about the overall experience of their fans and the success of their players,” Toews said in a statement released by the team.
• The Ducks signed left wing Dany Heatley to a one-year deal, returning the 33-year-old unrestricted free agent to the Pacific Division. Heatley spent last season with Minnesota. He played for San Jose from 2009-11, compiling 65 goals and 81 assists in 162 games for the Sharks.
• The Devils signed goaltender Cory Schneider to a seven-year, $42 million contract extension. Schneider was 16-15-12 record in 45 games with New Jersey last season and posted a 1.97 goals-against average, third best in the NHL.