Obstacles cleared, Rangers land Patrick Kane from Blackhawks

Emily KaplanESPN5 minute reading

Wilbon: “Thanks for everything, Patrick Kane”

Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon reflect on Patrick Kane’s tenure in Chicago following his switch to the Rangers.

Finally, the Chicago Blackhawks officially sent star winger Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

In return, the Rangers send two draft picks to Chicago – a second-round pick in 2023, which has conditions to upgrade to a first-round pick, as well as a fourth-round pick in 2025. The 2023 second-round pick will be a first-rounder if the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference Finals. However, the first-round pick will be in 2024 or 2025.

At 5:00 PM ET, New York finally got the appropriate amount of cap space to fit Kane’s contract. Chicago will retain 50% of Kane’s $10.5 million contract, and the Arizona Coyotes signed to take on 50% of that, meaning Kane will count for just $2.625 million against the Rangers cap.

“We definitely took it into consideration. It probably wasn’t another situation where we would have pushed the limits,” Rangers CEO Chris Drury said of his difficult salary cap situation during an online media availability. “But to get a Patrick Kane, you don’t get an opportunity like that very often.”

Arizona will receive a third-round pick from the Rangers in 2025 to facilitate the deal.

“I am so grateful for everything the city, the Blackhawks organization, my teammates and the fans have done for me and my family over the past 16 years – the support has been constant from day one and Chicago will forever be home to us,” said Kane in a statement released by the Blackhawks. “This has been an emotional time for me and my family, but I feel this decision puts me in the best position to immediately win another Stanley Cup.

“This is not about me leaving the Blackhawks, but this is an opportunity for me – the Blackhawks did everything they could to put me in a good position and I will always be grateful. It is bittersweet to leave a place that is so special to me, but I will always carry the memories we made in Chicago.”

Kane will fly to New York and make his debut Thursday at home against Ottawa, the team said. The Rangers on Wednesday face the Flyers in Philadelphia.

Kane, a three-time Stanley Cup champion who was selected No. 1 by the Blackhawks in 2007, is in the final year of an eight-year deal that included a no-movement clause. The 34-year-old winger forced Chicago’s hand to go to his preferred destination, significantly reducing the potential return for the Blackhawks.

“I think Patrick realized it was a good fit for him and it was a good fit for us,” Drury said. “We are absolutely delighted that he wanted to be traded and that it was to the New York Rangers.”

Sources close to Kane said he was emotional about the move, as he always envisioned retiring as a Blackhawks player.

Dealing Kane represents Chicago’s official turnaround away from its championship era as it rebuilds through the draft with a new management team and coaching staff in place.

The Rangers initially wanted to add only one high-end winger at the trade deadline, according to multiple sources, and they selected Vladimir Tarasenko from the Blues over Kane earlier this month.

“It’s not the happiest I’ve been to hear about a trade,” Kane told reporters shortly afterward. According to sources, several teams tried to pursue Kane – including the Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers – but the winger pushed behind the scenes to still go to the Rangers.

“It just built up over the last couple of days,” Drury said, “where we felt like we had a real chance to do this.”

Kane has been receiving treatment for a hip injury this year, which is one of the reasons the Rangers initially held off on signing the veteran, sources told ESPN. Kane told reporters the severity of that injury had been exaggerated, then he broke down — scoring seven goals and 10 points in his last four games before leaving the Blackhawks’ West Coast road trip Saturday to return home to Chicago once the Rangers trade materialized.

In New York, Kane will be reunited with Artemi Panarin – his linemate for two seasons in Chicago, including Panarin’s Calder Trophy-winning rookie season in 2015-16.

Kane, a native of Buffalo, New York, topped 20 goals in 14 of his 15 seasons prior to this one. And last season, when the rebuild was just beginning to take shape in Chicago, he still managed 26 goals and 92 points.

Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz sent a letter to team staff after the deal was announced, calling the deadline “challenging” but saying trading Kane was “another step in the process” in their commitment to building another winner in Chicago.

“Patrick has earned the opportunity to chase another Stanley Cup,” Wirtz wrote.

Speaking about the club’s rebuilding, Wirtz said the team would “continue tirelessly to achieve our goals.”

“These decisions are tough,” he wrote. “And I commend (general manager) Kyle (Davidson) and his team for their leadership in navigating this challenging trade deadline.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *