The NHL’s holiday roster freeze kicks in just before midnight on Monday night, but this is the time of year when we start getting some more significant talk about trade possibilities. As I’ve written previously, it’s around Thanksgiving that teams start to get an idea of their playoff chances. And it’s around Christmas that they start clearly identifying targets to fill needs.
The first trade rumor of note on Monday that intrigues me is a report from Elliotte Friedman that the Ottawa Senators are shopping for blue line help, and have made a call to Chicago to inquire about… Seth Jones? I’ll throw water on that one quickly; Friedman did in his report and, according to Friedman, Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson did when he answered the phone. It isn’t happening, not now at least.
Jones, 28, is in the first year of his mammoth eight-year contract that carries a $9.5 million cap hit.
The Rangers have been linked to Patrick Kane for a long time. Pretty much since they signed Artemi Panarin and the Blackhawks’ immediate future had more clouds than sunshine. As Charlie wrote in the story linked above, the Rangers now have the financial flexibility to make it interesting; with Ryan Reaves moved out to Minnesota, they now have projected deadline space is just over $7.1 million. So, if the Blackhawks retained some/half of Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit, a deal could happen without a third party getting involved — which is ideal for everyone involved.
I teased this a bit in my game recap on Sunday night in the three stars, but the young players I mentioned and whose names show up in Charlie’s hypothetical trade scenarios had a strong performance in front of a very specific audience in Chicago last night. It’s also worth noting that the Rangers have multiple first-round picks in 2023, which could make them more likely to move one of those if the right deal could be made to add a superstar the caliber of Kane.