As the Chicago Blackhawks embark on a rebuild, general managers around the league called about the availability of Patrick Kane before the trade deadline. However, after David Pagnotta reported that the superstar winger wanted to finish the season with the team, any possibility of a deal was squashed, especially since his contract carries a no-movement clause (NMC). Yet, he is expected to have discussions with management during the offseason about whether or not he wants to be a part of the rebuild. If he decides he wants a chance to win another Stanley Cup instead, there will be a huge market for him.
Any blockbuster deal involving Kane would likely have to include at least a first-round pick, two notable prospects, and a young player. Although that would be a big price to pay, it might be worth it given that Kane is a future Hall of Famer. Here’s a look at which teams might be willing to pay for the superstar winger.
New York Rangers
The Rangers were one of the teams that called Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson about Kane before the deadline, according to Elliotte Friedman. This is understandable, as they have been searching for another top-six right-winger since they traded Pavel Buchnevich to the St. Louis Blues last offseason. Although they added Andrew Copp and Frank Vatrano at the deadline, they are both pending unrestricted free agents (UFA), making it hard to determine if they will be long-term options for the team.
Kane would also be a significant upgrade over Copp and Vatrano on the right-wing. Even at 33 years old, he has yet to show any signs of regression and is putting together another spectacular campaign. In 61 games, he has 21 goals and 55 assists. That kind of production would be welcomed with open arms on the Rangers’ lineup. This is especially true knowing that he previously played on a line with fellow superstar Artemi Panarin.
The Rangers should be able to meet the asking price for Kane, too. Prospects that the Blackhawks could be interested in include Braden Schneider, Nils Lundkvist, and Vitali Kravtsov. All three have the potential to blossom into very good NHL players, so they should be ideal targets for the rebuilding squad. One young NHL player who also could be an intriguing addition is Filip Chytil. The 22-year-old versatile forward has struggled this season, with six goals and 10 assists in 52 games. Yet, perhaps the 2017 first-round pick could thrive in a bigger role on the Blackhawks. Another defenseman who also stands out is Ryan Lindgren.
Earlier this month, Pagnotta reported that the Avalanche also called about Kane. They sport the best record in the NHL and are looking to finally win a Stanley Cup with their stacked core. Had they acquired Kane before their upcoming postseason run, they might have become unstoppable.
If Kane is willing to waive his NMC during the summer, it will be shocking if the Avalanche don’t enter the sweepstakes. This could be a hard offseason for the team, as Nazem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky are pending UFAs. If they lose the latter, specifically, they will need to find a replacement for him in the top six. Kane would be a perfect option to do just that. He would not only provide them with much offense, but he’s also a three-time Stanley Cup winner. That’s exactly the kind of player they need right now.
Yet, if Avs’ general manager Joe Sakic were to make a push for Kane, they would have to be okay with the high price. Alex Newhook would likely be the Blackhawks’ primary prospect target, and it’s hard to know if Colorado would be willing to move him. If not, they would still have other very good options in Oskar Olausson, Sean Behrens, and Martin Kaut. When it comes to a young NHL-ready player, Samuel Girard sticks out. The 23-year-old could be a big part of their future core and is under contract until the end of the 2026-27 campaign. Bowen Byram has the potential to be a very good option as well, but his injury trouble makes a move involving him risky.
Los Angeles Kings
Unlike the two teams above, it hasn’t been confirmed that the Los Angeles Kings have expressed interest in Kane. However, they’ve taken a major step forward this season and could be on the lookout for a star winger this summer. At this juncture, they have a 35-22-9 record and are second place in the Pacific Division. If they can maintain their current pace, they should make the playoffs for the first time since 2018.
If the Kings want to keep this momentum heading into next season, they should seriously consider targeting Kane. He could be a perfect match to play with fellow star Anze Kopitar. Although the team has a very bright future, they are missing that one player who could make them legitimate contenders again. As veterans like Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jonathan Quick, and Dustin Brown get older, Kings’ general manager Rob Blake should consider making one last big push, and adding a star like Kane could help make that happen.
The team has an extremely strong prospect pool, so the Blackhawks would have plenty of worthy players to choose from. Although it’s very unlikely that Blake would be open to trading Quinton Byfield, they may be willing to part ways with Alex Turcotte, Samuel Fagemo, Akil Thomas, or Martin Chromiak if it results in landing Kane. As for a young player, Trevor Moore could be a perfect target for Chicago. The 26-year-old is having a breakout season, with 13 goals and 28 assists in 66 games.
Alas, we’ll have to wait and see if Kane wants to be a part of the Blackhawks’ rebuild or not. If he decides he wants the chance to win another Cup, these three teams could be ideal destinations for him. At the end of the day, Kane could be part of the blockbuster deal of the summer.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for numerous websites. Besides his work for THW, you can also find him on NHLTradeRumors.me, BBallRumors.com, BaseballRumors.me, FootballRumors.me and The Rat Trick.