Trade winds continue to swirl, and this won’t be a topic that will die down anytime soon.
Patrick Kane.
Where he ends up will be a hotly contested subject until a deal is finalized with the NHL’s Central Registry. As of now, nothing appears imminent.
That doesn’t mean that there’s chatter about it. Analysts are saying he could land in Calgary, Edmonton, LA, New York, Toronto, and just about anywhere where there’s an NHL team looking to make the playoffs.
He himself, however, is the only person who controls where he goes.
“It’s very similar, yes,” Kane’s agent Pat Brisson told The Athletic this past weekend when asked about the similarities between another prominent client, Claude Giroux, who was dealt last year.. “The respect that both players have for each organization. Claude will have his number in the rafters in Philly one day, I do believe, and obviously Patrick as well in Chicago.
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“Both players are very respected on those teams. Claude at the beginning of last season wanted to see how things were going to go with the Flyers. We realized pretty soon, by November, that if he wanted a chance at trying to win a Cup last season, he would have to make a decision. And he picked Florida. The Panthers were one of the most attractive teams at the trade deadline.
“It’s a very similar approach that we had with Claude. We’ll see how things go in Chicago. We’ll see how Patrick feels. We’ll probably explore things at the appropriate time later this season.
“I don’t want to put too much of a timeline on it. But it’s clear the Hawks won’t push him to make a decision one way or another.”
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Brisson also represents Kane’s teammate, Jonathan Toews — another pending unrestricted free agent who could be moved at the deadline.
As things progress, it’d be foolish for the Oilers to make themselves anything but front runners for either of these stars’ services.

Goaltending depth

Quietly, depth in the Oilers’ crease has been contentious for some time, but we’re getting an idea of where things will shake out. It appears, for the time being, that the Bakersfield Condors will be running Calvin Pickard and Olivier Rodrigue between the pipes.
This, after the club announced they had assigned goaltender Ryan Fanti to the Oilers’ ECHL affiliate Fort Wayne Komets.
It signals what the Oilers need at the American Level. Pickard will likely get the majority of the games, while Rodrigue will need to take a big step forward in his game. Fanti too needs to take a step forward.
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He looked… well… not good in the Oilers’ development camp. That being said, he’s entering his first year of professional hockey, and we all know the development curve for goaltenders can be a wild ride.

Kuznetsov suspended for stick swinging incident

Washington Capitals forward Evegeny Kuznetsov has been suspended one game by the NHL for a high-sticking incident.
It happened during the Washington Capitals’ Monday night game against the Vancouver Canucks.
Daily Faceoff analyst Mike McKenna, however, felt it should’ve been a longer suspension:
Watch the clip. That’s worth a one game suspension? I think it should have been closer to 20. Kuznetsov swung for the fences on Burroughs. It was a malicious and reckless slash aimed at the upper body of an opponent. Burroughs was defenseless on the play.
All of what I just mentioned was acknowledged by the Department of Player Safety. Kuznetsov clearly committed a high-sticking foul against Burroughs and deserved to be penalized.
But only one game? Because Kuznetsov has a relatively clean history of being fined just once during his 10-year NHL career? Come on. I think players need to be held to a higher standard than that.
There are situations in hockey where suspendable plays happen. And the injuries suffered can be devastating, regardless of intent.

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]