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According to a report from ESPN NHL insider Kevin Weekes, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane has informed Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson that he will NOT accept a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Leafs, of course, have been at the forefront of Kane trade rumors for nearly a calendar year now. Weekes also reports that the top three teams on Kane's trade list are the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals.
From Weekes on ESPN radio:
“Patrick Kane has stated several times that he does not want to be a Leaf, and that he wants to go to a team that he feels actually has a chance at the Stanley Cup.”
“Oilers, Rangers, and Caps are the top 3 teams on Kane’s list.”..
- Kevin Weekes
The Oilers have been leaked to Kane for seemingly forever now, so it's no surprise to see them on Kane's list. After all, who wouldn't want to play on a line with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl? It's also worth noting that wherever Kane ends up this season, he won't have to commit for long. He's a pending unrestricted free agent and will be free to sign with whomever he chooses come July 1st, 2023.
As for the Leafs, I can't imagine that they were ever too invested in acquiring Kane in the first place. The Leafs have exactly $0 in cap space (same with the Oilers to be fair) and their roster problem has nothing to do with scoring goals and putting up points. Adding Kane may make the Leafs' offense more potent, but it doesn't do much to improve the problems that they have down the lineup. The fact of the matter is that the Leafs need help on defense and, potentially, in goal. Blueliners Morgan Rielly and Jake Muzzin are tasked with carrying too much of the load for the Leafs' blueline corps, so if the team is going to make a big splash via trade they'd be wise to bring in a legitimate top four defenseman. Still... you can't help but feel jilted that Kane has chosen other teams over the Leafs.