Rating Rangers’ Trade for Patrick Kane from Chicago | News, scores, highlights, stats and rumours

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The acquisition of Vladimir Tarasenko by the New York Rangers in early February appeared to end speculation about what many perceived as a potential move for Patrick Kane to New York. Then general manager Chris Drury went on to elaborate. The Rangers brought in Tyler Motte and were reportedly looking for a final fourth-line forward.

But gossip quickly spread that Kane would not give up. He reportedly asked Chicago to explore a trade with the Rangers. The cap situation was incredibly tight, even with the Arizona Coyotes helping broker the deal. The Rangers were forced to play a shortened lineup for a few games to make the math work.

It was a mammoth effort, but the Rangers pulled out of a move for Kane on Tuesday, just days before Friday’s NHL trade deadline, as ESPN.com’s Emily Kaplan reported:

  • Rangers trade 2023 second-rounder and fourth-rounder to Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Kane (50% of $10.5M retained).
  • Condition: 2023 second-round pick becomes 2024 or 2025 first-round pick if Rangers advance to 2023 Eastern Conference Finals.
  • The Rangers trade their 2025 third-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for keeping 25 percent of Kane’s salary.

The deadline trades involving Timo Meier to New Jersey and Bo Horvat to the New York Islanders are objectively bigger in terms of on-ice impact. From a league perspective, a big-name player like Kane moving to the biggest city in the United States trumps all of them in terms of marketability.

It’s a big addition for the Rangers on the ice and important news for the league as a whole.

Let’s break down what this trade means for both New York and Chicago.

New York Rangers

Kane is a future Hall of Famer and arguably the greatest American hockey player of all time. He heads to New York with 1,225 points in 1,161 regular season games. He won the Hart Trophy in 2015-16 and three Stanley Cups in Chicago, winning the Conn Smythe in 2013.

Now 34, the Buffalo, New York native is no longer that player. He knows it and the Rangers know it. He is no longer the possession driver he once was. He lacks the speed and agility of the past to move the puck up the ice. Maybe his hands aren’t as fast as they once were.

In fact, there is an argument that it is the wrong addition for New York. He had a rough year in Chicago. The point total (45 in 54 games) looks okay, but the numbers are brutal. Hockey’s evolving model puts him in the fourth percentile among NHL players this season for impact, and that’s largely because he’s arguably the worst defensive forward in the league.

In addition, Kane is nursing a hip injury. That may, in part, explain the suboptimal play, but it only raises questions about his ability to hang onto a grueling playoff run.

Context is key. Kane’s most common teammates this season have been Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou. Both are respectable players, but each is third at best. The Blackhawks blue line might also be the worst in the league.

In a tug-of-war against the rest of the team’s best, he was the only one pulling the rope.

Emotions must also be considered. The Blackhawks sold their top players at discount prices at the 2022 trade deadline and over the summer. Let’s just say the organization isn’t particularly damaged by the losses as general manager Kyle Davidson pursues the most radical rebuild. Playing for nothing must have been discouraging for someone as proud and accomplished as Kane.

Kane was publicly upset about the Rangers’ decision to initially pass on him in favor of Tarasenko. He must have taken it personally. With something to prove, he put up seven goals and three assists in the next eight games.

Kane is headed to Broadway to join a Stanley Cup contender and will likely play on a line with Artemi Panarin, with whom he had a lot of chemistry in Chicago. He will have a chip on his shoulder and a burning desire to prove he can still play at a high level.

Kane has always been a player who steps up in crunch time, and joining the Rangers as an impending unrestricted free agent will present a new challenge that he will be hungry to meet.

Given his performance this season and the hip concerns, there are no guarantees this move will work for New York. But after starting the season with a horrible situation on the right wing, the Rangers will enter the playoffs with Tarasenko, Kane and Kaapo Kako in the front nine.

Kane’s deal is the final touch that cements their status as a legitimate threat to any of the serious Cup contenders alongside them in the Eastern Conference.

Drury likely intended to spend this final week shopping for yet another depth forward. But when one looks at the prices they put players like Tanner Jeannot and Ivan Barbashev at, it’s easy to see why Drury thought this offer was too good to pass up.

He was able to make this deal without giving up any of the team’s notable prospects. If the Rangers end up parting ways with a first-round pick, then it will be a small consequence of a second straight successful playoff run.

Grade A-

Chicago Blackhawks

Davidson did his best. Kane will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and had a full no-trade clause and all indications are that he was determined to join Rangers.

The only lever at Davidson’s disposal was the threat to keep Kane in the first place if Rangers did not make a decent offer. Such a result would have angered a franchise legend.

There is one scenario in which Chicago does well in this trade. If the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference Finals this season and then struggle in 2024 and 2025, then Chicago could end up with an early first-round pick.

Otherwise, the return reflects the conditions. He’ll be a late first-round pick in the best case scenario and a 2023 draft pick at around 55th overall, if not.

Davidson was beholden to whatever Drury was willing to deliver. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing. Depending on how the Rangers finish, the Blackhawks will enter the offseason with six or seven first-round picks as well as six or seven second-round picks over the next three seasons. This is a great collection.

Although Jonathan Toews remains, Kane’s departure marks the end of an era in Chicago. Now the organization can move on and start anew.

Grade: C

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