It was a transfer that was months within the making. During the 2021 NHL Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks traded Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach for draft capital, signaling the beginning of a rebuild. That led to an enormous query: would the Blackhawks ultimately commerce franchise icon Patrick Kane?
That query was lastly answered on Tuesday, when the Chicago Blackhawks traded Kane to the New York Rangers for a conditional 2023 second-round choose and a 2023 fourth-round choose. If the Rangers find yourself successful two playoff sequence in 2023, the conditional second-round choose will change into a first-round choose in both 2024 or 2025.
The transfer marks the top of an period for one of many best gamers to ever put on a Blackhawks sweater, and one of many best American-born NHL gamers interval. Kane’s accolades communicate for themselves. He helped the Blackhawks win three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013, 2015) and received the Conn Smythe Trophy because the playoff MVP throughout Chicago’s championship run in 2013.
In 16 seasons with the Blackhawks, Kane ranks second in factors (1,225), second in assists (779), third in objectives (446), third in video games performed (1,161), fourth in power-play objectives (122) and fourth in game-winning objectives (67). Among American-born gamers, Kane ranks fourth in factors (1,225), fourth in assists (779), and seventh in objectives (446).
So, with all of the historical past between participant and workforce, was this the best transfer for the Blackhawks? The reply is a powerful sure — for each events.
Kane is about to change into an unrestricted free agent this summer season, and certain wasn’t going to re-sign with the Blackhawks. Shortly after the 2023-24 season begins, Kane will flip 35, which implies that there will not be a ton of tread left on the tires. During his ultimate productive years, it isn’t farfetched to imagine that Kane desires to play for a contender, therefore facilitating a commerce to the Rangers.
From the Blackhawks’ standpoint, it is not a horrible haul. Chicago obtained two draft picks for a participant that was going to go away anyway (and with the additions of Vladimir Tarasenko and Kane to a ahead group that already contains Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad, there’s pretty excessive chance that New York could make a deep playoff, which means a kind of draft picks Chicago now owns will flip into a primary rounder).
On high of that, Kane held all of the playing cards, since he had a no-trade clause in his contract. Kane principally dictated the place he wished to get traded to, so Chicago’s choices have been extraordinarily restricted. As the Blackhawks now very clearly look in direction of the long run, the place precisely does shifting Kane go away them?
Kane off the roster positively improves Chicago’s possibilities of having the NHL’s worst file and getting a better share of touchdown the No. 1 choose — and with it, potential generational star Connor Bedard. Bedard has taken the hockey world by storm over the previous yr. He has recorded a ridiculous 114 factors (54 objectives and 60 assists) in 45 video games for the Regina Pats within the Western Hockey League this season.
According to Money Puck, the Blackhawks at the moment have a 14.5 p.c likelihood to win the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery, the third-best odds behind solely the Columbus Blue Jackets (17.7 p.c) and Anaheim Ducks (15.2 p.c). Entering Wednesday, the Blackhawks are tied with the Ducks for the second-fewest factors (47) within the NHL. Only the Blue Jackets have much less factors with 46 to their credit score.
Chicago completed that with Kane on its roster for almost all of the season. With Kane, ahead Sam Lafferty and defenseman Jake McCabe now gone, there could possibly be a number of extra losses on the horizon earlier than the common season involves an in depth.
Moving an growing old Kane and changing him with Bedard will surely be a dream situation, to say the least, for Chicago — if it occurs.
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