The March 3 NHL trade deadline is approaching rapidly. And Patrick Kane is still a Blackhawk.
Many, including Kane, seemed to believe the New York Rangers' move to acquire Vladamir Tarasenko, and the Toronto Maple Leafs' trade to inhale Ryan O'Reilly, put a damper on Kane's chances to go to either destination.
The Rangers' move seemed to discourage him. But, the possibility of him donning the blue jersey in his home state isn't completely out of the question yet.
"I believe he has asked to explore whether going to the Rangers is still an option," ESPN's Emily Kaplan wrote. "It's not impossible, but it would require serious maneuvering."
The Rangers, as aforementioned, recently acquired Tarasenko from the St. Louis Blues for forward Sammy Blais, defenseman prospect Hunter Skinner, a conditional first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft and a fourth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.
The trade gave off the impression an acquisition of Kane would be impossible. And while it might not be unfeasible, there is likely stronger interest and viability elsewhere.
"Kane also must consider what else is available," Kaplan wrote. "I know the Carolina Hurricanes and Dallas Stars are interested in him. I believe the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers are as well. There could be a mystery team lurking."
Kane, 34, is still in the prime of his career. This season, he has 42 points on 14 goals and 28 assists. He's played in 53 games this season. He's missed a few games with a hip injury, which Kaplan expressed teams believe is a "real concern."
He's proven otherwise, by scoring a hat trick against the Maple Leafs and two goals in an overtime victory against the Senators two nights before. He nearly added a sixth goal in three games against the Golden Knights on Tuesday, but the puck didn't reach the goal line until after the buzzer sounded.
Kane had an interest in the Rangers for a trade. He's from New York and the Rangers are real contenders for the Stanley Cup. They sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a 33-15-9 record this season.
"It’s not like the happiest I’ve been to hear about a trade," Kane said to NBC Sports Chicago's Charlie Roumelitotis. "I think the Rangers are a team that you definitely pay attention to and definitely are intrigued by, for obvious reasons."
MORE: Kane was 'definitely' intrigued by Rangers before Tarasenko trade
Adding to the narrative, Kaplan believes the talks between the Rangers and Blackhawks for Kane were stronger than initially reported.
"Based on conversations I've had with sources around the league, the behind-the-scenes talks with the Rangers were more advanced than have been reported. There was a path for Kane going to New York, his preferred destination should he leave Chicago, and then suddenly it felt as if it was taken away -- which is why you saw him react so vulnerably to the Vladimir Tarasenko trade."
Still, Kyle Davidson says the Blackhawks and Kane share the same timeline and they aren't rushing his process as the ball lies in his court for a decision surrounding his future.
That decision will come in almost a week.