The Chicago Blackhawks have been quite the story during the off-season. The team wasn’t expected to be a contender this season, but general manager Kyle Davidson removed all expectations when he dealt 40-goal scorer Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators for futures. The tear-down continued from there.
Chicago is likely to trade both Kane and Jonathan Toews, if not in the near future then before the trade deadline. Toews has minimal value given his contract and production as of late, but would be a very good third line center for a contending team. Kane, meanwhile, is still a first-line winger capable of producing a point-per-game.
There’s been a lot of talk that Kane could go – and would accept a trade – to the Toronto Maple Leafs. While it’d be fun to see the top two American players in today’s game (Kane and Auston Matthews) and perhaps of all-time compete alongside each other, it just doesn’t seem feasible. Toronto already has cap troubles and likely wouldn’t be able to give the Blackhawks the best package.
Kane, who only has one year left on his deal, has a full no-movement clause, however. The Leafs could make it work at the deadline and Kane could ultimately force Chicago’s hand if that’s truly where he wanted to go. Yet, these destinations seem more likely.
New York Rangers
There’s plenty of reasons to expect Patrick Kane to go to The Big Apple. He’s a showman who doesn’t shy away from the spotlight and would immediately put the Rangers over the edge as a leading contender for the Stanley Cup.
Patrick Kane would also reunite with Artemi Panarin in New York. The two were close friends during the latter’s two seasons in Chicago and had incredible chemistry. If the Rangers are serious about winning the Stanley Cup, they’ll make a run at Patrick Kane sooner rather than later.
Can you imagine Patrick Kane playing with Connor McDavid? Or even Leon Draisaitl for that matter? The three of them up front on the power-play would be even scarier for opposition goaltenders. Edmonton, like Toronto, wouldn’t have much to give, but could entice the Blackhawks with multiple draft picks and prospects.
Oilers insider Gene Principe confirmed the Oilers interest in Patrick Kane last week, but both teams would need to get creative with the salary cap to make the deal work. Edmonton would likely center a deal around Jesse Puljujarvi and draft picks.
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings might be one of the best bets to sign Patrick Kane as a free agent next summer. The Western Conference team is progressing in the right direction and has a strong core that should keep the team competitive for the foreseeable future.
However, the Kings could really advance things more quickly if they make a push for Patrick Kane this season. Los Angeles also has more draft picks and prospects trade capital they could send to the Blackhawks. If Patrick Kane is open to a deal to Los Angeles, Chicago would likely try and prioritize a trade there.
The Kings would love to make one last run with veteran Anze Kopitar. Patrick Kane would give the team an immediate boost and would complement both Kopitar and up-and-coming forwards like Quinton Byfield, Arthur Kaliyev, Rasmus Kupari, and Jaret Anderson-Dolan.
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