Earlier this week, Frank Seravalli joined Ken Reid on his podcast to discuss futures for the two big names in the Chicago Blackhawks. Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon then offered up five potential destinations for Patrick Kane before the trade deadline. We’ve heard most of them before, but one stood out as a highly unlikely new name.
The five teams Dixon listed are the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders.
The organization has been pretty consistent all year in saying it’s all up to Kane and Jonathan Toews; at the start of the regular season, despite rumors to the contrary, general manager Kyle Davidson said he had not spoken to anyone about the two stars.
It has been reported a few times in a few places now, most recently by Pierre LeBrun, that Kane’s agent and Jonathan ToewsPat Brisson, will have a conversation with the Blackhawks players and front office sometime in January about the future of the two future Hall of Famers.
Now that we are coming to the end of the calendar year, it becomes more immediate and real that one or both of these icons could be moved at some point in the not too distant future. And we’ll be seeing more of these lists and hypotheticals come out in the days and weeks to come.
But, for now, a few thoughts on the five teams Dixon listed.
I have already written about the adequacy with the New York Rangers a few times, most recently yesterday when Alexis Lafrenière was a healthy scum for the blue shirts. They seem to tick all the boxes needed for a potential Kane trade: they have a decent amount of cap space, plenty of draft picks to work with, young players who intrigue, Artemi Panarin to skate with 88 when he gets there , and Madison Square Garden.
I’ve been trying to tell people for over a year that the New York Islanders are a sleeper in this whole conversation. Lou Lamoriello has wanted Kane since he was in New Jersey, and might be ready to make the bold move to add a superstar to his offense. Kane loves Matt Barzal, so there’s a player he’d love to skate with. And they have a veteran roster that has made two conference finals series in recent seasons. If they want to go there, they will have to add more.
I also wrote about Boston Bruins, who have watched the Blackhawks extensively all season. A few weeks ago, there was a report that the Bruins were at least exploring the idea of Kane and/or Toews, although the return of David Krejci made Kane the likeliest target (according to the report). Their biggest issues are the ceiling space needed to add any of the Blackhawks stars and disrupt their bedroom. They’ve already screwed up royally once this year when they signed Mitchell Miller and had an all out revolt from the veterans on their NHL roster. Adding Kane won’t be a mistake, but their chemistry is as good as any in the league right now and they don’t necessarily make it. need add.
the Carolina Hurricanes are an intriguing fit. They will be adding Max Pacioretty to their roster in the near future which will help their offense. The Canes are a very good team (which we saw firsthand the other night) and, as Dixon points out, might prefer to look for a center (Toews? Bo Horvat? Max Domi again?) instead of a wing. But if they want to go there, they need to be better than a lower third of the league’s 5-on-5 offense (which they are right now).
The joker in this conversation is the Pittsburgh penguins, who haven’t been mentioned much/not at all in Kane’s trade rumors. As Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s Dan Kingerski said, “OK, let me preface this one by pointing out the near impossibility, almost with certainty.” Why? The pens have limited cap space and are old. And, at some point, they have to start thinking about their future. Indeed, the first thing Dixon writes about the Penguins making a deal for Kane confirms Kingerski’s claim: “The Penguins have only made three first-round selections since 2013; why stop trading them now? “Why stop now? (Check the ages of Crosby, Malkin and Letang…)