Flames a Top Landing Spot for Kane According to NHL Analyst

Just days ago, I wrote an article that discussed some forwards the Calgary Flames could look to add to their roster at some point during the 2022-23 season. After all, general manager (GM) Brad Treliving has been adamant that he hopes to add one more to his group at or prior to the trade deadline. That said, my list didn’t include top end talent, as I didn’t think there was any possible way he had yet another major move in him. According to at least one insider, however, that may not be the case.

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Speaking on a recent segment with TSN, Craig Button gave two teams in both Conferences that he believes have the best shot at landing Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane. The first team of any he named, you ask? None other than the Flames.

“I’m gonna start in the West, I’m going to go with the Calgary Flames,” Button said. “Top defensive team, they lost a little bit of offense. Patrick Kane could fit into a spot on Calgary very nicely.”

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This is something that very few if any, had talked about prior to Button bringing it up, but has gotten Flames fans very excited since. Adding a player in Kane who many consider to be the best American-born player of all time would not only give this team the top right winger they need, but could potentially give them the most skilled forward their franchise has ever seen.

Can the Flames Pull off a Kane Deal?

The major difficulty in acquiring Kane for any interested team is that he carries a cap hit of $10.5 million. The good news, however, is that the Blackhawks have over $6 million in cap space, meaning they would have no problem whatsoever retaining a good chunk of his deal if they feel the package coming their way is worth their while.

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

As for the package it will take to acquire Kane, it is safe to say it will be significant. With 26 goals and 92 points in 78 games last season, he remains one of the game’s elite point producers. On top of that, he is one of the greatest players in Blackhawks’ history. They aren’t just going to give him away, and they won’t have to, as several teams will, and already have shown interest.

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To get the conversation started, the Blackhawks at the very least would require a first-round pick as well as a very good young prospect. The Flames have first-round picks in each of the upcoming three drafts, so that shouldn’t be an issue. As far as who they and their fanbase would like to offer up as the prospect, names like Adam Ruzicka and Connor Zary would be at the top of the list. Unfortunately, neither would be enough unless Blackhawks management became desperate, which is very unlikely to happen.

Instead, it would likely have to be one of Jakob Pelletier or Matthew Coronato. Flames fans won’t be thrilled to see that, and may even scoff at the idea. After all, both of those players are expected to have very good NHL careers. On top of that, there is a very legitimate chance that Kane would choose to enter free agency once the season ends. Trading a prospect who could very well become a star for a player who may only be around for a few months is certainly a difficult pill to swallow. That said, there are positives that would come in a deal like this as well.

The 2021-22 season was the first time in a long time that this Flames team felt like a true Stanley Cup contender. Head coach Darryl Sutter had them playing at such a consistently high level on a nightly basis that made them feel truly unstoppable. And, despite it being a different group in 2022-23, they are once again considered Cup contenders, though adding one more offensive winger to the group would really put them over the top.

With Kane’s skill and winning experience, there is almost no one better in the league you could add to your roster. He could very well be the piece needed to bring the city of Calgary its first Stanley Cup since 1989. There are very few if any fans who wouldn’t move one of their team’s top prospects in exchange for a Cup. This move could very well make that happen.

Moving Out Salary for Kane

Now, if Treliving were to decide he is willing to part ways with one of his top prospects, he would need to find a way to make things work cap-wise. One option could be to make a three-team trade happen, perhaps one like the Arizona Coyotes who have plenty of cap space and would happily take on some of Kane’s cap hit if it meant receiving a draft pick in return. The other option would be moving a player off the Flames’ current roster.

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One name that comes to mind is Tyler Toffoli, who has a cap hit of $4.25 million. If the Flames were to go this route, the trade would work out cap-wise, as the Blackhawks are allowed to retain up to 50 percent of Kane’s salary. The question comes down to whether or not Treliving would be comfortable moving on from the 30-year-old, who he acquired shortly before last season’s trade deadline.

Tyler Toffoli Calgary Flames
Tyler Toffoli, Calgary Flames (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The issue with moving Toffoli is that it would still leave Treliving searching for one additional forward to fill out his top nine, as he has said several times as of late that he wants to add one more to his group. That said, Kane is a significant upgrade. If there is any shot of landing him as Button seems to believe, the Flames’ crafty GM needs to explore that option.

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