On Tuesday night, the Chicago Blackhawks officially traded star winger Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers.
In exchange, the Rangers will send two draught selections to Chicago: a conditional second-round pick in 2023 and a fourth-round pick in 2025. If the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference finals, their 2023 second-round selection will be upgraded to a first-round pick. The first-round selection, though, would be in 2024 or 2025.
Minor league defender Andy Welinski was also moved to the Blackhawks, while minor league defenseman Cooper Zech will join Kane in New York.
By 5 p.m. EST, New York finally had enough cap space to accommodate Kane’s deal. Chicago will keep half of Kane’s $10.5 million deal, and the Arizona Coyotes have agreed to accept the other half, so Kane will count for just $2.625 million against the Rangers’ limit.
“We obviously took it into account. “We certainly wouldn’t have pushed the limitations in another circumstance,” Rangers general manager Chris Drury stated of his tight salary cap predicament during an online media availability. “But you don’t get a chance like that very often to get a Patrick Kane.”
In exchange for enabling the transaction, Arizona will get a 2025 third-round selection from the Rangers. To round up the deal, Chicago acquired Finnish defender Vili Saarijarvi from Phoenix.
“I’m very grateful to the city, the Blackhawks organisation, my teammates, and the fans for all they’ve done for me and my family over the past 16 years — the support has been consistent from day one, and Chicago will always be home for us,” Kane said in a statement provided by the Blackhawks. “This has been a difficult moment for me and my family, but I believe this choice puts me in the greatest position to win another Stanley Cup immediately.” This isn’t about me leaving the Blackhawks; rather, it’s about an opportunity for me; the Blackhawks did all they could to place me in a good position, for which I will be eternally thankful. It’s difficult to leave a city that means so much to me, but the memories we formed in Chicago will live on.”
Kane will go to New York and make his debut against Ottawa on Thursday, according to the organisation. The Rangers will face the Flyers in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Kane, a three-time Stanley Cup winner who was the Blackhawks’ first-round choice in 2007, is in the last year of an eight-year contract that includes a no-movement provision. The 34-year-old winger pressed Chicago’s hand by going to his chosen destination, considerably lowering the Blackhawks’ possible return.
“I believe Patrick understood it was a fantastic match for him and for us,” Drury said. “We’re thrilled that he wanted to be dealt, and that it was to the New York Rangers.”
Kane was distraught about the change, according to those close to him, since he had always planned to retire as a Blackhawks player.
Trading Kane signals Chicago’s definitive departure from its championship era as it rebuilds via the draught under a new management team and coaching staff.
According to numerous sources, the Rangers originally planned to acquire just one high-end winger before the trade deadline, and they picked Vladimir Tarasenko of the Blues over Kane earlier this month.
“It’s not the happiest I’ve been to learn about a move,” Kane later told reporters.
Many clubs sought to sign Kane, including the Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, and Edmonton Oilers, according to sources, but the winger lobbied behind the scenes to stay with the Rangers.
“It just sort of built up in the previous two days where we felt like we had a genuine shot to accomplish this,” Drury said.
Kane has been seeking therapy for a hip ailment this year, which was one of the reasons the Rangers first put the veteran on hold, according to ESPN.
Kane, a native of Buffalo, New York, has at least 20 goals in 14 of his previous 15 seasons.
“Patrick has earned the chance to compete for another Stanley Cup,” Wirtz stated.
While discussing the club’s rebirth, Wirtz said that the squad will “work relentlessly to attain our ambitions.”
“These are difficult choices,” he wrote. “I also want to recognise (general manager) Kyle (Davidson) and his crew for their leadership in navigating this difficult trade deadline.”