Rarely would I read David Haugh, but he came up with a good tidbit here:
Bowman began preparing for the cap challenge last fall when he started negotiating contract extensions for stars Toews, Kane and Duncan Keith, who were among the lowest-paid Cup winners because their new salaries didn't kick in until July 1. Anticipating the penny-pinching ahead, Bowman haggled with the trio's agents over as little as $50,000.
One night last November, Bowman visited Toews at his downtown condominium. Toews, whom Bowman warned without getting specific that changes were coming, worried that a five-year, $31.5 million contract extension may represent a bigger distraction than it was worth.
"Jonathan told me, 'I don't want my contract to get in the way and, if I sign, everybody says, 'Does that mean I'm going to get traded or what?' about (Keith) and Kane. So unless we can do it together I really don't care about my contract,'" Bowman related.
The three deals announced — as Toews requested — jointly Dec. 3, 2009, locked up for at least the next five years the core to which Bowman has referred often when defending his recent decisions.
This is also actually a pretty good read in relation to how Bowman wanted to deal with the salary cap, so feel free to read the full article. It's interesting to see him open up about it now that it's mostly done.