Patrick Kane Trade Buzz: List of One? Will He Stay in Chicago? Other Options?
Even with his dramatic play over the past three games, the trade rumors surrounding Blackhawks’ star Patrick Kane are unavoidable.
Late Tuesday night, Elliotte Friedman posted his “32 Thoughts” column with a focus on every team’s approach to the trade deadline. The cutoff is next Friday afternoon, so the dam is going to break at some point.
Before Tuesday night’s game, Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson appeared on the pregame show on NBCSN and indicated there has not yet been a decision from Kane. Friedman offers some additional insight in the wake of the amazing scene at the United Center last night:
Patrick Kane’s decision is due any day now. It sounds like it’s down to two options: First is pick a team (and it will likely be one team, which is why it’s taken this much time). Then the Blackhawks can negotiate with that club for a Kane trade. Second is Kane taking longer-term care of his career. Instead of a trade now, he makes a decision for next season (and beyond), getting whatever treatment is necessary for his hip injury so he can be fully healthy for 2023-24.
I don’t want to handicap it, but it sounds like that’s where we are.
The new piece here from Friedman is the idea that Kane is going to cut his “list” down to just one team, which follows the model that Claude Giroux followed in Philadelphia last year at the deadline. A lot of people have pointed to that as the path Kane would follow since earlier in the season, both because of Giroux’s tenure as the captain of the Flyers and their shared agent, Pat Brisson.
Even with the one-team approach in mind, Friedman alludes to Kane being an option for Carolina, Dallas, and Edmonton. All three names have been in play for a while. We’ll get to those three in a moment, because…
In her trade buzz updates for ESPN on Wednesday morning, Emily Kaplan opens with a discussion about Kane. She goes back to the hip injury being a concern for teams that might acquire him — even though he’s been electric in his last three games. But she also acknowledges that Kane hasn’t been thrilled with that talk and has tried to downplay its significance recently.
Kaplan then goes into a few teams that might in in play for Kane, and the three mentioned by Friedman appear here as well.
I believe he’s asked to explore if going to the Rangers is still an option. It’s not impossible, but would require serious maneuvering. Kane also must consider what else is available. I know the Carolina Hurricanes and Dallas Stars are interested in him. I believe the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers are as well. There could be a mystery team lurking.
Right off the bat: the Rangers? Still? I mean, I get it. Kane was openly not happy when they traded for Vlad Tasasenko to fill their top-line right wing need. How they would make that money work is fascinating. They do, however, still have one of their first-round picks despite making that move, so I’m at least a little intrigued by the mention.
Now, about the others who were mentioned by both Friedman and Kaplan in the last 12 hours:
Patrick Kane and the Dallas Stars
Dallas has been reportedly interested since the draft, when David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period noted it around the draft. I think there’s a scheme and style fit there; they’re a veteran team that might play at a speed that’s more conducive to where Kane is at now. They don’t have their first-round pick this year; that went to the Rangers (and might end up in St. Louis now). But they have other picks and some interesting prospects to consider. And they’ve been tied to him the longest.
Patrick Kane and Edmonton Oilers
The struggle for me with the Oilers comes in two places: their cap situation and their more apparent needs. The Oilers are a really good offensive team; Connor McDavid is a god amongst men at this point and Leon Draisaitl is a beast. They’ve been on a losing skid of late, and the questions always come back to their group on the blue line and in net. Edmonton was tied to Erik Karlsson for a while but it sounds like that may have cooled off lately. I still believe they need to fix their back end because the offense is there.
Their cap is another whole problem that would likely require a third team to get involved. A third team being included impacts the return the Blackhawks would receive, so that’s not ideal. And, if we’re honest with ourselves, Kane might be on their second power play. Is that where he wants to be down the stretch — especially if even with Kane the defense is still a problem and they’re still not a lock to even win the Western Conference?
Patrick Kane and the Carolina Hurricanes
Okay, so here’s the sleeper that honestly might make the most sense on every single level. When they lost Max Pacioretty for the season — after barely getting him back — it opened up enough cap space that they can afford Kane without much help (CapFriendly has them with over $10 million in cap space at the deadline).
While Pacioretty creates cap space, his injury also created a huge need. The Canes need an elite offensive player to compliment their young group. They have the second-best record in the league, they’re running people out of the rink almost every night, but they’re ninth in goals per game this season. Adding Kane to a team that ranks fourth in both goals against and faceoff percentage as a team seems ideal.
Now add what Carolina owner Tom Dundon told Frank Seravalli last night in an enlightening podcast interview:
Carolina has not, historically, made the big swing for a rental. And Dundon cautions that he doesn’t want to cost the team down the road in making a deal to help today. But the parades are better than prospects, and the opportunity to win a championship is right there for the Canes this season. They own a pick in every round of the 2023 NHL Draft and multiple picks in the second round in ’24. And you cannot tell me in a sober moment that Kane wouldn’t love playing for Rod Brind’Amour.