Trade Deadline Profile: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Photo credit:Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
By Cam Lewis9 months ago
Over the next few weeks leading up to the March 3 trade deadline, I’ll be doing an in-depth look at the players who are on the trade block and whether they would be a good fit for the Edmonton Oilers. Today, we have Patrick Kane.
Who is Patrick Kane?
This is a player who doesn’t need much of an introduction. Patrick Kane was selected No. 1 overall at the 2007 NHL Draft and he’s put together a Hall of Fame career since. His 1,215 points ranks third among all players since the start of the salary cap era and he’s won three Stanley Cups, a Hart Trophy, an Art Ross Trophy, and a Conn Smythe Trophy.
But nobody is trading for the player Patrick Kane was in his prime in the 2010s. They’d be trading for the 34-year-old version of Patrick Kane who’s playing right now. How much of a difference-maker can he still be?
The 2022-23 season has been the worst of Kane’s career thus far, as he’s scored only nine goals and 26 points through 46 games. It’s a significant drop from last season when he scored 92 points, which was the third-highest single-season total of his career.
Kane’s decline this season can certainly be attributed to the fact he’s playing with the worst supporting cast he’s ever had. The Blackhawks traded away his linemate Alex DeBrincat in the off-season and he’s now playing with Max Domi and Andreas Athanasiou, two players who are on one-year, show-me deals who are fighting to remain in the league.
There’s also some concern that Kane’s production this year has been the result of a nagging injury. Back in January, Arthur Staple wrote a post in The Athletic about trade deadline options for the New York Rangers and said that it “seems like the whole league knows now that Kane needs hip surgery” and “if he doesn’t shut down the season and get the surgery soon to be ready for free agency and 2023-24, he’s going to be damaged goods.”
Whether his poor results have been because of how bad the Blackhawks are or because of Kane losing a step to injury, there will surely be teams out there willing to see if he still has something left in the tank. There aren’t many players out there with the talent and winning pedigree that Kane has and he could push a good team over the top in a complementary role.
Would he be a good fit for the Oilers?
This is a two-way question because the Oilers have to decide if they’re interested in trading for Patrick Kane and he gets to decide if Edmonton is a place he wants to play.
Kane is reaching the end of the eight-year, $84 million contract he signed back in 2014 and he has a no-movement clause that allows him to ultimately decide where he wants to play. While leaving the rebuilding Blackhawks to play for a contender late in his career seems like a no-brainer, Kane mentioned the appeal of spending his entire career playing for one team…
“I love Chicago, I love the city, I love the fans, the organization’s been amazing to me and my family, so there’s really not much to [not] like here,” Kane told NBC Chicago. “But I think there’s always business decisions. I know in the game of hockey there’s not many guys that have plated their whole career with one team, so it would be privilege and an honor to do that, but I guess we’ll see how it all plays out.”
During the off-season and into this season, the Blackhawks have taken a wait-and-see approach when it comes to whether Kane wants to be traded, but pretty much came out and said on Friday afternoon that he was disappointed that the New York Rangers traded for Vladimir Tarasenko…
Now, considering a trade from Chicago to New York is a very different thing from being ready to request to be traded, but it seems Kane moving ahead of the March 3 deadline is a legitimate possibility.
From Edmonton’s perspective, adding Kane ahead of this year’s playoffs could make quite a bit of sense. While the most often talked-about needs that the Oilers have are on the blueline and in the third-line centre role, they could also definitely afford to become more right-handed. Jesse Puljujarvi, Derek Ryan, and Zach Hyman are Edmonton’s only right-shot forwards and consistent offence from the right wing has been an area of weakness this year.
Given his $10.5 million salary cap hit, a third team would have to get involved to make the money work. The Blackhawks would have to retain half of Kane’s salary and then a third team would also have to retain half of his salary before he was sent to Edmonton with a $2.625 million cap hit.
It isn’t an easy deal to execute and there’s valid concern about how effective Kane can be at this stage of his career, but the idea of adding a player with his level of experience would certainly be exciting for the Oilers. Ken Holland acquired Duncan Keith to be a veteran presence and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him look to the Blackhawks again.
What would the Blackhawks want in return?
The Tarasenko trade should give a pretty decent idea of what the market looks like for highly-skilled, veteran wingers ahead of this year’s trade deadline…
The Blues dealt Tarasenko and defenceman Niko Mikkola to the Rangers in exchange for Sammy Blais, Hunter Skinner, a first-round pick, and a conditional pick that’ll wind up being a third-rounder if New York makes the playoffs. Blais has zero goals in 40 games this season and Skinner is an ECHL prospect so this return is all about the draft picks for St. Louis.
Given the leverage that Kane has in a possible trade, the Blackhawks wouldn’t be able to demand more in return than what the Blues got for Tarasenko. Still, moving a first-round pick for Kane at this stage given his play this year would be a risky bet.
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