What Are We Buying as Legitimate Patrick Kane Trade Rumors? Because There Are a LOT
There are a lot of hockey rumors floating around the internet, as we inch closer to the NHL’s trade deadline. A lot. And one of the hardest things to do is employ some level of discernment in terms of what we we believe and what we should take with a grain of salt (or the entire shaker sometimes).
In more than 16 years of covering the Blackhawks, I have tried to consider the source of the rumor before repeating it/giving it credence. In this space, I continue to try to filter what I repeat and respond to because I don’t think you want to read a “saw this on Facebook and it’s clearly crap for all of the reasons” column every 2-4 hours for a month.
With that being said, there was a lot of conversation about Patrick Kane last night. So here’s what credible places are saying about the Blackhawks’ star.
- On TSN’s “Insider Trading” segment on Tuesday, the panelists discussed Kane and Jonathan Toews‘ looming decisions. They said the decision(s) from Kane and Toews would happen next week. Kane’s agent previously indicated he would give teams that might be in the mix — again, IF he decides to accept a deal — between 7-10 days to get their offers in order. Which means next week is the early deadline for him to do that with March 3 being the NHL’s official trade deadline.
- David Pagnotta at The Fourth Period — who, you might recall, linked Kane to the Dallas Stars back in July to the dismay of many in Chicago — chatted about Kane briefly on Tuesday evening. He said here, again, that Dallas has acknowledged interest and Kane has at least indicated he “has some level of interest” in exploring that as a potential destination.
- Pagnotta also brings up the newly found cap space in Carolina and Vegas because of the season-ending injuries to Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, respectively. And then he throws the wild card: “if the Islanders can get their act together” in the coming days, Pagnotta says they might re-visit making a play for Kane even though they already landed Bo Horvat.
- Pagnotta then quote-tweeted the video with an important clarification we all need to keep in mind: 88 still needs to tell the Blackhawks he’ll accept a trade. And he hasn’t made that decision yet.
- Charlie Roumeliotis at NBC Sports Chicago wrote about the seven destinations he feels would be fits for Kane if he decides to leave. Again, if… because Charlie wrote about six teams that would be a fit and then made a case for him to stay with the Blackhawks. Charlie’s six teams are:
- Los Angeles
- New Jersey
- Las Vegas
- I wrote last night about former defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo hopping on TSN 1050 in Toronto and making the case that the Rangers and Leafs were two teams that Kane would play for if he accepts a deal.
- The hype train in Toronto in advance of Kane facing Auston Matthews (who will reportedly be activated after three weeks on IR for tonight). Matthews grew up idolizing Kaner, and Kane had openly talked about wanting to play with Matthews in the Olympics. Well… if the Olympics aren’t likely to happen… what about after the trade deadline? It sure looked like the Toronto media gave Matthews an open mic to recruit him on Tuesday after their practice. Not sure how I feel about the slightly-savage line about not seeing him in the playoffs… but he ain’t wrong.
- Matthew Larkin at The Daily Faceoff, like Charlie in Chicago, looked at six potential destinations for Kane yesterday. His list looks a lot like Charlie’s too, but with one change: Edmonton joins Carolina, Dallas, LA, Toronto and Vegas. But he throws some water on the thought that the Oilers could pursue Kane seriously given both their primary need(s) and financial picture.
Getting a strong shutdown presence on defense has to be the No. 1 priority, right? After all, this is already the top-scoring team in the NHL. Given the cap gymnastics required for the Oilers to do anything right now, it might be tough to get help on defense and still pursue Kane.
With all of that being said…
Here’s my two cents: Dallas appears to have been in this for the longest time, and they’re motivated to make a run with their veteran core before it’s too late. Kane has played with and against Tyler Seguin and Joe Pavelski for years so there’s some familiarity with their roster. And, with the Rangers out of the picture, the Stars need for a top-six RW might be the most obvious for a team with seemingly good chances of at least winning their conference.
After Dallas it’s really a wild card. Carolina has never paid big for a rental, but they would likely be asked to here. Vegas has never had a problem selling the farm for a star player, but does Kane really fix their problems or should they maybe focus their cap space on their goaltending cluster… The Kings are an interesting play because they have plenty of potential assets to make a deal, but they’re supposedly in heavy on Jakob Chychrun. I’m not sure they can/would do both.
Toronto would be a fun story but they don’t have any cap space. Neither does Edmonton, and they are looking to make a bold add to their blue line so Kane as a second power play weapon at his pricetag might not fit or make sense.
There will always be a team that sneaks into these conversations late in the game. What about Minnesota or Colorado or Florida or the Islanders?
And what happens if/when Kane decides to not move away from his family for a couple short months. What happens then?
The good news is the Blackhawks have a few players who are drawing strong interest, and the front office has done a nice job of lining up draft capital well in advance of the deadline so they already have a lot of early picks in the next two drafts whether a trade materializes now or not (I suspect at least a couple will).