Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman recently said he expected Kane and captain Jonathan Toews to remain with the organization forever.
“I don’t know,” Kane said after the Blackhawks’ first training camp practice at the University of Notre Dame on Thursday. “That’s what you hope for. That’s obviously the ultimate goal to win championships and then play for an organization like this, but, you know, I’m still a young kid. I’m 24, turn 25 this year. To say what’s going to happen the rest of my career, I just don’t know. I mean obviously it would be ideal to stay here, but we’ll cross that path when we get to it.”
Kane and Toews become unrestricted free agents after the 2014-15 season and can’t negotiate a new contract until after the 2013-14 season. They both signed five-year contract extensions during the 2009-10 season.
Kane and Toews have been often considered the faces of the franchise since their rookie season in 2007-08. Both have been among the team’s top players since then and were core pieces to the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championships in 2010 and 2013. They both finished among the top seven in voting for the Hart Memorial Trophy last season.
Toews said on Wednesday he hoped to remain with the Blackhawks throughout his career.
“If my potential is to spend a lot of time like that in Chicago, then so be it,” Toews said. “I’m just enjoying every season as it comes. I think right now it would be tough to find any reason to want to play somewhere else. I don’t think there’s any better place in the league or around the world to play hockey in.”
Kane said he and Toews haven’t discussed their futures.
“No, we haven’t talked about it,” Kane said. “We’ve talked about what was said and different things like that. Yeah, it would be great, but other than that I think we’re focused on this week and getting our chemistry back and trying to get back up to speed to playing where we were at the end of the playoffs last year. That’s our focus right now, not really worrying about what’s going to happen two years down the road whether we’re going to stay together or not or we’re going to play our careers with one team.”
Bowman said Wednesday he was confident Kane and Toews wanted to stay Blackhawks.
“No. 1, I know these players, and I know they want to win,” Bowman said. “I’ve had conversations with both of them, and they have faith in ownership. I think it really starts at the top. [Blackhawks chairman] Rocky [Wirtz] is going to do whatever it takes to make the franchise a perennial winner. I think ultimately that’s what these players are looking for.
“They are certainly comfortable with the surroundings. They’ve been in Chicago their whole career. I’m not going to speak for them; they can probably explain these things. But I know the character of those two. They want to win. They want to win next year and the year after. I can make a commitment to them that’s our focus year to year.
“The specifics of all the details, that’s not something we got to get caught up in. When you find two players like that, who are quality people, there’s no doubt you’re going to make it work.”