Future deals impacted by Toews, Kane

New contracts for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews can pave the way for other NHL stars. Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

The new deals for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews make them the highest paid players in the NHL on an annual-average basis.

How long will that last? That’s up for debate.

The Kane and Toews contracts came in right about where you’d expect. What it means moving forward is it gives future franchise players closing in on unrestricted free agency a new baseline in which to negotiate. To one agent, who has a prominent player who could be in extension talks next summer, it’s confirmation that teams believe the cap will be going up every bit as aggressively as the players believe.

“People are in agreement the cap is going up,” he said. “You’re probably looking at $80 million in a couple years. That’s a clear indication that there are teams that believe it as well.”

The other thing that stood out to this agent?

“It was pretty interesting in the way they structured it. If you did present value, it’s closer to eight times $11 million. Getting the money up front,” he said.

His conclusion on the value of the deals?

“I think it’s dead on,” he said. “It’s healthy for the league. I know a lot of free agents coming up saw that and were like ‘Perfect.’”

Kane and Toews are unique in that they were slated to hit unrestricted free agency in their primes, which doesn’t happen for franchise players anymore with so many locked up long-term. There aren’t many who will be in that position the next couple years, but here’s a look at players who will ultimately be impacted by the Kane and Toews contracts in the next couple years:

1. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning -