Kane Rumors! McCabe Rumors! Lafferty Rumors! Oh My! (and Other Blackhawks Bullets)
A piece of personal PR: I’m jumping on NHL Network Radio on Sirius/XM tomorrow (Saturday) with the crew from The Fourth Period at 10:30 AM CT to talk about the Blackhawks’ season, trade rumors, Patrick Kane stuff… you know, not much. Maybe about how the Bears actually, successfully landed the No. 1 overall pick? Feel free to tune in!
- Kane stuff got real on Thursday night when the Rangers scratched a couple young players. With rumors intensifying around Kane and the Rangers as we are now one week away from the trade deadline, these are the signs we look for if a team is lining up dominos to make a trade. Keep in mind that even if terms and players are all agreed on, the deal might not be announced until the deadline so the Rangers can make the money work. So far, it hasn’t been confirmed by anyone — including Kane’s agent, Pat Brisson.
- Speaking of The Fourth Period, on Friday afternoon they discussed the current state of Jake McCabe rumors. According to David Pagnotta, there was a lot of buzz that he would be the next player to go after the Blackhawks acquired Nikita Zaitsev. Sam Lafferty also came up, but Pagnotta said it’s a matter of when, not if, with McCabe.
- One of the teams Pagnotta believed may have been interested in both McCabe and Lafferty was the Boston Bruins. And Elliotte Friedman mentions that the Bruins talked to the Blackhawks about a package of McCabe and Lafferty on the Friday edition of the “32 Thoughts” Podcast as well.
- Was — past tense. Because the Bruins made a huge deal with the Washington Capitals on Thursday evening. Boston acquired defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway to bolster their championship push. They paid a heavy price (four picks, including their first rounder in 2023), but this makes the best team in the league even more formidable.
- Keep this one in your back pocket when we start considering options for the Blackhawks with not only a Kane-Rangers trade but also other potential trades they might make:
- Because of the Bruins-Caps trade, I decided to include Washington in our Bad for Bedard update this morning. They’re now barely out of the sub-.500 club. San Jose, meanwhile, has joined Columbus, Anaheim and the Blackhawks in the sub-.400 club last night.
- A couple more nuggets from the “32 Thoughts” Podcast when they discuss the Blackhawks (other than Kane or the Bruins being interested in McCabe/Lafferty):
- They bring up a buyout of Nikita Zaitsev (something I have also floated since he was acquired). The Blackhawks would save around $833k on the cap because Zaitsev’s actual payment(s) are largely signing bonus-based next year, so the Blackhawks releasing him and signing someone else for the minimum (see: Johnson, Jack) doesn’t really save them any money.
- The guys also talk about 29-year-old Orland Park native David Gust signing an NHL contract this week. This is the first time in his career that he’s been offered an NHL contract, even though he’s been a pro for seven years. Friedman shares the story that, in 2017, as a senior at Ohio State, he had a big game that led to an AHL contract with the Oilers’ organization. After wandering around a bit, he wound up with the Chicago Wolves last year and they won the Calder Cup. So he was going to hang up the skates after winning an AHL championship. But he was convinced to play for Rockford and here we are with an NHL contract — finally. Pretty cool.
- On last night’s “Insider Trading” segment on TSN, the names Joel Quenneville and Stan Bowman came up. According to Darren Dreger, both of them has been working with Kim Davis, the NHL’s VP of Social Impact, Growth Initiatives and Legislative Affairs. He reports Quenneville is going to be on a call with AHL coaches in the near future to discuss what he’s learned over the past year. Both, according to Dreger, would apparently like to get back into the NHL world somehow at some point, but we’ll see if that ever happens.
- How are the Blues holding up since trading away Tarasenko and O’Reilly? Not great, Bob. Not great.
- The Blackhawks had scouts watching the Kings and Devils on Thursday night. Both teams could be interested in any number of players on Chicago’s roster. So that’s interesting. The Blackhawks don’t play the Kings again this year and won’t face the Devils until April 1.
- Man, talk about a throwback Thursday! Jack Johnson and Kaner making appearances in this tweet from USA Hockey.
- Some bad news for a former Blackhawk. Kirby Dach has been out of action for the Habs recently without much of an update. We got that on Thursday, and it’s not ideal. Hoping he can find a path back to good health soon.
- Finally, players nicknames for each other in every sport are fun. The Cubs shared theirs and some have us scratching our heads.
Tinordi Hurt (Again), Toews Skating, Legends Cup Final, Frozen Four Set, and Other Blackhawks Bullets