Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wonders if this is all in his head, but you have to admit the insider usually has the scoops on trade chatter and his gut feeling can be trusted.
On Wednesday as he published his shorter version of the 32 Thoughts on Sportsnet, Friedman pointed to the Los Angeles Kings as a team that could work hard to make a Patrick Kane trade happen, especially if the Chicago Blackhawks superstar decides to get moved ahead of the trade deadline to join a contender for a chance at another championship.
“This might be purely in my head, but I wonder if Los Angeles makes a pitch for Patrick Kane. The Kings’ .571 points percentage is sixth in the Western Conference, but their goal differential (minus-4) isn’t good. They have the picks and prospects to make this move.”
Many teams have previously been linked to Kane, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres. The Kings have only been mentioned another time, by TSN’s Craig Button, who also believes Kane could help them progress in their development as we’ve been impressed by Los Angeles in the playoffs last spring.
One thing that could play against the Kings, or any contender for that matter, is Kane’s cap hit of $10.5 million plus a full no-movement clause giving him full control over where he might go.
As for a return in a trade for Kane, the Kings do have picks and prospects to make the move and it’s been mentioned how the Blackhawks could seek a package similar to the one involved in last year’s trade for Claude Giroux out of Philadelphia.
Giroux was moved to the Florida Panthers for a chance at the championship in return for forward Owen Tippett, a first-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft or 2025 NHL Draft, and a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
The Kings could have to put out an impressive return to get their hands on Kane, if of course, the Hawks’ forward wants to move to LA.
The playoff picture will get clearer once Kane is ready to make his call, and we will see if Friedman’s call was right.