Bowman is negotiating with top-flight forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on contract extensions and has said he would like to have them done by Tuesday. Their agent, Pat Brisson, is likely to seek the highest salaries in NHL history, with salary-cap hits that could reach or exceed $10 million per season apiece.
Bowman said he is prepared to make some history using Chairman Rocky Wirtz's checkbook with the extensions that would kick in for the 2015-16 season.
"We're not looking at the number or whether it's above or below a certain point, we're just looking to continue to have two of the best players in the world," Bowman said Saturday after the draft was completed in Philadelphia. "That's the one thing you can't lose sight of.
"I look at it as an incredible thing. We have these two great players who are going to be in Chicago. Regardless of (the money), there are 29 other teams that would be happy to be in our spot. We're fortunate more than anything to have both."
Last week, Toews said he would prefer to sign his extension at the same time as Kane, as the duo did when they inked identical five-year, $31.5 million deals midway through the 2009-10 season. Bowman agrees.
"Everything has sort of been in tandem ever since they started their first game together," he said. "It would be fitting to get the contracts finished and announced at the same time."
Bowman also spent time in Philadelphia working on trades and other than shipping fourth-line winger Brandon Bollig to the Flames for a draft pick, came away empty. But that doesn't mean the groundwork hasn't been laid for future deals.
"Things can go from zero to 100 quickly," Bowman said. "It's hard to characterize whether we're close or not. Something could happen (soon) or it could be weeks."
Bowman did make one thing crystal clear: Talented young players Brandon Saad and Teuvo Teravainen will not be part of any trades.
"Part of the reason we're able to reach the level that we have and sustain it is we've kept our young players, and we're not going to change that philosophy," Bowman said. "It would be hard to replace their ability as well their age and contract status and all that."