Insiders Weigh In On Patrick Kane's Potential Trade Future

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Insiders Weigh In On Patrick Kane’s Potential Trade Future

Chicago Blackhawks

On their Monday morning edition of the “32 Thoughts” Podcast, Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman discussed the trade status of the Blackhawks’ two future Hall-of-Famers, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Marek asked Friedman for his thoughts, and they were both lengthy and on point.

Most of Friedman’s discussion covered Patrick Kane‘s comments on Friday, when he openly spoke about his disappointment that the New York Rangers traded for Vladimir Tarasenko — and didn’t wait for him.

I’m going to start with something he said towards the end of the segment on the Blackhawks, because it’s something I’ve written here and it continues to resonate with me. The idea that Kane and Jonathan Toews should just rip off the bandaid and make their decisions isn’t an easy thing for either player.

“I think when you’re a guy who thinks you’re going to be in one place your whole career, you’re sitting there saying ‘I’ve done everything good here and we’ve been successful’ and now you’re sitting there saying ‘you know what, this isn’t the place for me any more’ it’s jarring.”

That’s absolutely right. And I think we’ve seen that in the words and emotions from both players throughout this season. With that in mind, something Friedman said earlier in the segment also hit hard. Here’s what Friedman said as a long-time media member covering the game about Kane’s comments to us on Friday:

“Some people didn’t like what Kane said the other day; I refuse to criticize him. We’re always complaining that hockey players are boring and don’t’ tell the truth and don’t say what they mean. He came right out and said it; we cannot criticize him for that. He came out and said his raw, unvarnished truth and I have no problem with that and thank him for doing that.”

Yeah, I understand the sentiment that some people have expressed that, if Kane had wanted to go to New York he could/should have just made up his mind and told GM Kyle Davidson that was his one preferred location. But Friedman goes into the Rangers situation a bit further, pointing out a few obvious pieces that many fans miss in that scenario.

Because Kane’s cap hit is $3 million more than Tarasenko’s, the Rangers would have either needed to wait until the last minute to make the trade or get a third team involved. And it’s apparent their front office wasn’t comfortable with that reality. It’s also worth noting that the Rangers were able to add a physical defenseman in that trade, as well, effectively adding two needed pieces for that would have been the cap cost of Kane alone.

Getting back to the emotions of the two players, and with a little insight into the intentions of the Blackhawks’ front office, here’s some more of what Friedman said when he started discussing where he thinks things are — and where they’re going — with Kane and Toews.

“I believe that Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews thought they were going to retire as Blackhawks. And I believe last summer when the Blackhawks were beginning this process and they were trading DeBrincat… I think they told those guys ‘Guy, this is the way it’s going to be. It’s not going to be pretty and we’re going to start over.’ Sometimes I think when you hear that you may not believe it… I think when you’ve won as much as those two guys have, it’s really hard to lose like this… They’ve come to the realization that this is what it is in Chicago. They’re gonna lose, and they’re gonna lose for a few years and it’s not going to be fun…

“I do think at the very least with Kane, I think there was… I don’t know if a desire is the right word, but the idea that maybe he plays there for one more year while he gets healthy. I just don’t think that’s a road the Blackhawks want to do. I think that adds to the level of ‘oh boy, this is real. This is happening.’”

Friedman went on to say that Kane now has to consider where else he would want to go and where else he might fit — and how he might fit in those places. And that’s a heavy consideration set for a player who, again, is making a truly life-changing decision with a clock ticking loudly in the background.

You can listen to the entire episode of the podcast here (the Blackhawks discussion begins around the 54-minute mark):

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab