A potential Patrick Kane trade could be imminent following some major moves over the weekend and at the start of this week, but what exactly has happened so far and what would need to happen for a trade to be made?
The March 3 trade deadline is just days away, and all the attention will be on Kane. Here's a breakdown of what has happened so far and what it could signal:
Rumor Emerges Kane Could Go to Rangers
A new report by NHL insider Chris Johnston suggests that a deal is on track to occur later this week.
Johnston reported that “all indications remain positive” for Kane to be traded to the Rangers, but that the deal likely will still be several days away because of salary cap reasons.
Kane Kept Off the Ice During Hawks vs. Sharks
Kane did 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 was 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 Saturday. "Just seeing him on the video this morning, definitely it's a different feeling, him not being here."
Rangers Make Moves, But It's Still Not Enough
According to multiple outlets, Kane skated at the team’s practice facility on the West Side Sunday as he looks to stay fit prior to the NHL trade deadline -- and as another piece of the trade puzzle fell into place.
Meanwhile, forward Jake Leschyshyn officially cleared waivers for the Rangers, helping to clear more cap space as the team aims to fit Kane’s prorated cap hit onto their books The Rangers preceded that move by trading forward Vitali Kravstov to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for William Lockwood and a 2026 seventh-round pick.
According to CapFriendly, the moves have given the Rangers just over $1.9 million in deadline salary cap space, still short of the $2.625 million in space they would need to acquire Kane.
Another wrinkle to the deal could come courtesy of NHL rules, as the Rangers had to call up Ryan Carpenter for their Sunday game against the Los Angeles Kings.
According to Vince Mercogliano of USA Today, the Rangers had enough cap space to ice a full roster, and under CBA rules they had to dress 18 skaters, requiring them to recall Carpenter.
That recall could potentially impact their day-to-day cap number, and as a result the Rangers may have to wait until Thursday to officially have enough room to acquire Kane without involving another player or team.
Hawks Make Splash With Big Trades
The Blackhawks traded defenseman Jake McCabe and forward Sam Lafferty to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team announced Monday, signaling their rebuild is in full swing. The Blackhawks maximized their return by retaining half of McCabe's contract, crunching the cap hit from $4 million to $2 million until his deal expires at the end of the 2024-25 season.
Following the trade, the Blackhawks are now slated to have two first-round picks in each of the next three NHL Drafts, assuming the 2025 first-rounder doesn't move to 2026.
What Still Needs to Happen
The Blackhawks have three more games before the NHL’s trade deadline, with road tilts against the Ducks and Coyotes, and a Thursday home game against the Dallas Stars.
Barring any unforeseen changes, Kane will not dress in any of those games.
The Rangers may also have to make a recall on Wednesday, as they have back-to-back games against the Flyers and Devils before the deadline. There's also a question over whether defenseman K'Andre Miller will get suspended for spitting on an opponent Sunday night. That could push the Kane saga back another day, but it is unclear when the team will hit the $2.625 million in cap space they will need to acquire Kane.
That deal would also be contingent on finding another team that would be willing to take on $2.625 million of Kane’s cap hit, with the Blackhawks absorbing the remaining $5.25 million.
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