SAN JOSE — Patrick Kane will not play for the Blackhawks on Saturday against the San Jose Sharks for roster management reasons, the team confirmed.
Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said Kane flew back home to Chicago and is away from the team "until the situation rectifies itself either way."
"He's obviously such a focal point of the team this year," Richardson said. "Just seeing him on the video this morning, definitely it's a different feeling, him not being here."
Kane did not have a stall at SAP Center in San Jose after the team's morning skate. The void was noticeable.
"It's kind of hard to put in words the impact that he's made over the years and the career he's had with Chicago and what he's helped make this to the Blackhawks into what it is today," Connor Murphy said. "It's hard to express the meaning of him not being in a Blackhawk sweater, really."
All signs point to Kane eventually being moved to the New York Rangers, who are paving the way for a potential trade after placing Jake Leschyshyn on waivers and trading Vitali Kravtsov to Vancouver. It's the first steps toward making a deal happen.
Financially, it originally didn't look like the Rangers would be able to swing a deal until next week. But the circumstances may have changed after defenseman Ryan Lindgren got hurt in the game on Saturday afternoon and was seen with a sling on his left arm afterward.
If Lindgren's injury is serious, the Rangers could theoretically place Lindgren on long-term injured reserve by Sunday, which would open up cap space and allow them to execute a deal for Kane sooner than later.
All this to say: It's not a matter of if Kane will be traded, it's when.