Former Chicago Blackhawks legend Patrick Kane will make his debut with the New York Rangers on Thursday night. He'll join a line with former teammate Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck against the Ottawa Senators.
And for the first time since being traded, Kane spoke to the media.
The Blackhawks traded the franchise icon on Tuesday, ending an significant and successful era of hockey in Chicago.
It was a three-team deal between Chicago, the Rangers and the Arizona Coyotes, mainly to help retain salary.
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In the end the Blackhawks acquired Andy Welinski, conditional second round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft (that could turn into a first if the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference Final this season), a fourth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft.
"This has been an emotional time for me and my family, but I feel this decision puts me in the best spot to immediately win another Stanley Cup," Kane said of the decision in a statement after the trade. "This isn’t about me leaving the Blackhawks, but this is an opportunity for me—the Blackhawks did everything they could to put me in a great position and I will forever be grateful.
"It is bittersweet to leave a place that is so special to me, but I will always carry the memories we made in Chicago.
With the Blackhawks in a full-scale rebuild, it felt inevitable that Kane would be moved ahead of the March 3 trade deadline. He was in the final year of his contract which carried a cap hit of $10.5 million and included a full no-movement clause.
Kane will go down as perhaps the greatest player in Blackhawks history. He was drafted by Chicago with the No. 1 overall pick in 2007 and went on to lead the franchise to three Stanley Cup victories while picking up a Hart and Art Ross Trophy and a Conn Smythe Trophy along the way.
Kane ranks second in franchise history with 1,225 points, behind only Stan Mikita (1,467). It's only a matter of time before Kane's No. 88 is raised to the rafters and a statue is unveiled outside the United Center.
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