Patrick Kane Traded to the New York Rangers

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The Blackhawks Have Traded Patrick Kane

Chicago Blackhawks

The time has come. Sadly, the heartbreaker has broken hearts — for now. The Chicago Blackhawks have traded Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers for a package of two picks: a conditional 2023 second-rounder (that could become a first) and a fourth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft.

Patrick Kane Traded

According to multiple reports, the conditions on second round pick: it turns into a first-rounder if the Rangers make the Eastern Conference Final. However that first round pick would be in either the 2024 or 2025 NHL Draft.

According to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, the Arizona Coyotes are the third team in the Patrick Kane trade. Elliotte Friedman has reported the Coyotes will get a third-round pick in 2025 from the Rangers for picking up part of Kane’s salary.

Update: the Blackhawks also received two defensemen in the trade. I don’t expect either to be an impact on the real return of the trade, however.

Why That Return?

We’ve been told for about a week now that fans should be “underwhelmed” by the return the Blackhawks will realize when they trade arguably the greatest American-born player in NHL history and one of the greatest players in the history of the franchise.

And yeah, a couple draft picks (a second and a fourth, worst case scenario) doesn’t feel like “enough” for a player who was instrumental in a dynasty in Chicago.

Here’s why I’m not losing sleep over this trade.

First, Stan Bowman — NOT Kyle Davidson — gave Patrick Kane (and Jonathan Toews) a full no-move clause. We knew almost a decade ago that if this time ever arrived that Kane would drive the entire scenario, and he earned the right to do that in the eyes of many when the deal was signed… but especially the Blackhawks’ GM at the time. So keep that in mind when we point fingers at Davidson for what he got in this trade.

Second, Kane didn’t “wait until the last minute” to dictate the terms of this transaction. Over the past week we’ve been made aware to a painful extent the lengths to which the Rangers were going to make the money work; after they acquired Vlad Tarasenko from the Rangers — a move that didn’t go over well with Kane a couple weeks ago — they were reportedly out on Kane. It wasn’t until his recent heater (10 points in four games) that they re-engaged. So between the questions about Kane’s hip issue impacting his play and the Rangers’ cap, this was really more of an overall last-minute process than Kane making his decision at the deadline.

Finally, Davidson has clearly made acquiring picks — more than NHL players or prospects — a priority. And early-round picks are his preference. Was there a scenario where he could have added a prospect or more picks if he didn’t ask for a second-rounder (with the possibility that it becomes a first)? We might never know that answer. But to get the picks that he did when he had absolutely, positively no leverage isn’t a terrible outcome. Frankly, the way some media members were talking about the potential return, if this does become a first-rounder it might feel like Davidson did better than we had been told to expect.

Goodbye to the GOAT

Kane, 34, is the only player ever drafted first overall by the Blackhawks organization. Since he joined the NHL club at the start of the 2007-08 season, he has earned every ounce of that honor. He trails only Stan Mikita in organization history in points and assists and ranks third in club history in goals behind Mikita and Bobby Hull.

He has authored some of the most memorable moments in the history of the team. I would argue, based on the audience size, his overtime, game-winning goal in Philadelphia that clinched the 2020 Stanley Cup is the most widely recognized moment in Blackhawks history.

In the final year of his contract, and with the organization in an actual rebuild, the writing has been on the wall since the new front office started selling last season. When Alex DeBrincat was traded over the summer, Kane noted that he’s seen too many players with whom he enjoyed success leave over the years. And, now, it’s been eight years since the Blackhawks last won a championship.

We’ll now wait for the trade market to materialize and wait to see what general manager Kyle Davidson is able to bring back in one of the most historic trades in Blackhawks’ history. This trade will, when consummated, rank among the most significant players leaving the franchise with the trades of Phil Esposito, Denis Savard, Steve Larmer, Jeremy Roenick, Ed Belfour and Chris Chelios.

Since the NHL started handing out the Hart Trophy to the league’s Most Valuable Player, Kane is one of Blackhawks to win the award. Max Bentley won it first for Chicago all the way back in 1946. Al Rollins won it in 1954, Bobby Hull won it in 1965 and Mikita won it the next three straight seasons. Kane (2016) is the only Blackhawks player to be named the league’s MVP since Mikita won it a third time in 1968.

The NHL started awarding the Calder Memorial Trophy to the league’s rookie of the year in 1933. Kane won it in 2008; Jonathan Toews was the runner-up. The first Blackhawks player to win that award was Mike Karakas in 1934. Since then, Cully Dahlstrom (1938), Ed Litzenberger (1955), Bill Hay (1960), Tony Esposito (1970), Larmer (1983 – #retire28), Belfour (1991), and Artemi Panarin (2016) have won the award.

The NHL started awarding the Conn Smythe Trophy to the postseason MVP in 1965, so there are only three Blackhawks who have ever won it: Toews in 2010, Kane in 2013 and Duncan Keith in 2015.

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