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Reports and updates swirl, but still no Patrick Kane trade — yet

The last 24 hours have provided updates from all across the hockey media landscape.

NHL: FEB 17 Blackhawks at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The will-he/won’t-he situation around whether or not Patrick Kane wants to be traded is still very much ongoing, but multiple reports have surfaced in the last 24 hours related to the unique circumstances involved.

First, there was a report from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic Tuesday that shed some light on what might happen if Kane does go the trade route.

Specifically, LeBrun mentioned that Kane is likely going to wield his No-Movement Clause to its fullest extent by providing the Blackhawks with only one team as an option (at a time):

“If Kane does say yes to exploring the trade market, my understanding is that he and agent Pat Brisson will come up with his top destination and bring it to the Blackhawks for them to explore. So we’re talking about one team here. Not a list of teams.

Now, obviously there’s the chance that top team on Kane’s list can’t make it work. Then you have to decide if you’re moving on to the next team.”

Unfortunately, this situation gives the Blackhawks and General Manager Kyle Davidson no leverage with the other team as it removes the typical bidding war. A few of the more recent and memorable examples of players exercising their NMC with such limited team options in recent years include:

  • Claude Giroux in 2022

Giroux informed the Philadelphia Flyers he would only waive his NMC for the Florida Panthers. Philadelphia received a 2024 first-round pick, a 2023 third-round pick, and prospect (Owen Tippett) in exchange for Giroux, a 2024 fifth-round pick and two prospects (Connor Bunnaman, German Rubtsov).

  • Taylor Hall in 2021

Hall informed the Buffalo Sabres he would only waive his NMC for the Boston Bruins. Buffalo received a 2021 second-round pick and Anders Bjork in exchange for Hall and Curtis Lazar.

  • Jarome Iginla in 2013

Originally, Iginla gave the Calgary Flames a list of four teams he would be willing to accept a trade with: the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, or Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite Boston reportedly having the best trade offer, Iginla decided he would only waive for Pittsburgh. Calgary received a 2013 first-round pick and two prospects (Kenny Agostino, Ben Hanowski) in exchange for Iginla.

As for teams that are interested in acquiring Kane, Elliotte Friedman from Sportsnet mentioned in Wednesday’s “32 Thoughts” article the handful of teams he’s heard linked — pretty tentatively in some cases — to Kane recently:

  • Carolina Hurricanes: “They’ve monitored [Kane]’s future, lurking until the Future Hall-of-Famer makes a decision”
  • Dallas Stars: Are “looking for a scorer to play with Tyler Seguin ... they considered Patrick Kane, backed away, and now we’ll see what Kane decides.”
  • Edmonton Oilers: “They’ve made a pitch for Patrick Kane, but it’s up to the winger to decide.”
  • Minnesota Wild: “When they were hot early in the season, I thought for sure [GM] Guerin would go hard after the best offensive player he could find. Now I’m not so certain, unless Patrick Kane picks them.”

Friedman also mentioned that the Vegas Golden Knights are the “big, big wild card” team this season with Mark Stone out for, at least, the rest of the regular season. Vegas was not directly mentioned in connect to Kane, but it could be possible — especially since Vegas could use the same LTIR loophole that the Blackhawks made famous in 2015 to acquire Antoine Vermette from the Arizona Coyotes when Kane was placed on LTIR after breaking his collarbone.

ESPN’s Emily Kaplan also got into on the Kane trade-report action Wednesday morning, corroborating Friedman’s list above of interested teams, and confirming that Kane is also interested in seeing if the New York Rangers are still in the equation for him:

“I believe he has asked to explore whether going to the Rangers is still an option. It’s not impossible, but it would require serious maneuvering. Kane also must consider what else is available. I know the Carolina Hurricanes and Dallas Stars are interested in him. I believe the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers are as well.”

Is there a path for Kane to the Rangers? Technically yes, though Kaplan is absolutely right that it would require a lot of moving part to get such a deal done. Here’s what that “serious maneuvering” would look like:

Larry Brooks from the New York Post also looked into how a Kane trade to the Rangers could work:

Ultimately, it’s unknown how much interest Kane has in any of the teams mentioned above — outside of the Rangers, obviously — but TSN reporter Chris Johnson did mention in his latest “Inside the NHL” article that Kane was “believed to be intrigued by the idea” of the Edmonton Oilers:

More updates sure to follow in the coming days. The trade deadline is next Friday, March 3.