Starting to sound like a trade of Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers is approaching inevitability.
A slew of reports and updates have unfolded Saturday morning and afternoon as the Blackhawks await a game against the San Jose Sharks.
Start with this update from Scott Powers of The Athletic earlier on Saturday morning:
From what I’m hearing, Patrick Kane is only considering the Rangers. There are other teams interested in him, but they don’t appeal to him as of now.— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) February 25, 2023
The Blackhawks have a morning skate in about five hours. We could know more by then.
A couple hours later, Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman dropped this update:
On Kane/NYR: last 24 hours or so has been about lining up everything from cap situation to third-party trade partners to roster machinations to Kane’s approval. Making sure everything in place; no detail is missed. We’re grinding towards a conclusion, no one wants a misstep.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 25, 2023
Part of those “roster machinations” involved two Rangers players who were held out of the lineup and could be involved in this proposed trade:
UPDATE: Vitali Kravtsov and Jake Leschyshyn will not be available to play today due to roster management reasons.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 25, 2023
The Rangers face the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon — a game being played as of this writing. During the pregame show on ABC, ESPN reporter Emily Kaplan provided this update:
As I reported on ABC pregame..— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) February 25, 2023
There’s mutual interest between Patrick Kane & New York Rangers, + momentum. As long as NY clears cap space & finds 3rd party broker, expectation is it gets done.
With Kane yielding NMC power, Chicago takes whatever return Rangers willing to give.
Oh, and just to complicate things a little bit more, Rangers forward Ryan Lindgren exited that game with an injury, which could have an impact as well:
A Ryan Lindgren #NYR injury complicates things. If he's out for the rest of the season, then they could put him on LTIR & have about $2.8M of space (enough for Kane @ 25%).— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) February 25, 2023
If he's out short-term, could eliminate some paths to create short-term cap space by sending guys down https://t.co/2TRvtweud2
Within the last 30 minutes, more reports involving Kane surfaced. First, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic:
Rangers and Blackhawks continue to work on the structure of a potential trade in the meantime while awaiting Kane’s decision— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 25, 2023
Then, this from TSN reporter Darren Dreger:
It’s believed Kane has returned home and is no longer with the team.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 25, 2023
Kaplan later added the same update as Dreger:
Patrick Kane left the Blackhawks road trip in California and is on his way home to Chicago.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) February 25, 2023
Just seems like it’s all adding up to Kane heading home, informing the Blackhawks that he’s going to waive his no-movement clause and accepting this trade to the Rangers, doesn’t it? Only thing left to be determined is the return on the trade. All of these reports and updates and roster moves make it seem like it’s going to happen, now just a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.”
Any additional developments will be added to this post. It’s going to be a hectic weekend, folks.