Even Patrick Kane’s own agent has pretty much confirmed it: the Chicago Blackhawks superstar will look into getting moved ahead of the trade deadline to join a contender for a chance at another championship. Pat Brisson confirmed the plan to insider Pierre LeBrun, explaining how his client’s situation was very similar to the one Claude Giroux experienced last season. Giroux, a life-long member of the Philadelphia Flyers at the time, dealt with the heartbreaking move of a trade to a Cup contender and Brisson agreed that Kane could live the same situation later this season.
Kane has been linked to several contenders like the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres. LeBrun also indicated that the New York Islanders could also compete for Kane’s services. It is believed that Kane informed his GM Kyle Davidson that he will NOT accept a trade to the Leafs. But I guess it could depend on where they stand later this season in the playoff picture.
Now, more contenders enter the sweepstakes with TSN’s Craig Button pointed out two more options in the West and one more in the East. While he agrees that the Rangers will be in the mix, he adds the Pittsburgh Penguins as a contender, saying the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner could bolster the Penguins’ production in the postseason.
In the Western conference, Button points to the Calgary Flames and Los Angeles Kings as new options for Kane. He mentions how Kane could offset some of the offense in Calgary lost during the offseason and join forces with Nazem Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau and Elias Lindholm. But Kane could also help the Kings progress in their development as we’ve been impressed by Los Angeles in the playoffs last spring.
The reality of a trade when it comes to Kane however remains the same. He carries a $10.5 million cap hit plus a full no-movement clause giving him full control over where he might go. These will come into play no matter which team becomes the top contender for his services closer to the deadline.
Button did mention that he doesn’t not think the Edmonton Oilers or the Leafs will attempt to acquire Kane, as they need more help on the back end than anything.
The playoff picture will get clearer once Kane is ready to make his call, and we will see if Button was right.