NHL Rumors: Blackhawks, Rangers, Sharks, Golden Knights, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Finally, Max Pacioretty will not be returning to the Vegas Golden Knights anytime soon but will the team be able to add and work themselves out of a rough start to the season? Speaking of rough starts, how long before the Chicago Blackhawks consider making Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews available for trade? The New York Rangers have held preliminary contract talks with defenseman Adam Fox and can the San Jose Sharks get out from under the Evander Kane contract?

Could Blackhawks Look at Big Changes?

Larry Brooks of the New York Post has started to ask the question of how long the Blackhawks wait before they begin to consider trading stars Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. If the team continues to struggle, he wonders if one or both could become available at the March 21 trade deadline.

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

Each player has two years remaining on their contracts with matching $10.5 million cap hits and full no-movement clauses so it’s unlikely they’d be traded even if they agreed to a change. If someone like Kane was a rental with an expiring deal, that would be one thing. But to take on his contract would require moving pieces around for a number of teams and he’d likely only want to move to a contender.

The one change that could come sooner than later is a coaching change and the termination of Jeremy Colliton. Seth Jones spoke to the media after Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Red Wings and said:

“100 percent the team has faith in Jeremy. I’ve been here a short time, but his message has been great for us. What it really comes down to, there’s only so much a coach can do. He’s not going to lace them up for you.

“At the end of the day, this isn’t a coaching problem. This is a locker-room thing. This is the players on the ice playing the game. We all have to find a way to get on the same page and have a common goal on how we want to play and what our identity is.”

Rangers and Fox Have Preliminary Contract Talks

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reports that the New York Rangers have had very preliminary talks with pending RFA defenseman Adam Fox’s agent Matt Keator. One of the reasons the Rangers want to look at this now and get it done early is just because he’s arbitration and offer sheet eligible.

Adam Fox New York Rangers
Adam Fox, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

LeBrun writes:

I don’t anticipate salary arbitration or an offer sheet coming into play for real but it’s nevertheless a fact that both are items in Fox’s toolbox if for whatever reason talks on an extension hit a wall.

source – ‘LeBrun: Rangers and Devils already eyeing extensions for Adam Fox and Jack Hughes’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 10/21/2021

LeBrun does point out that Fox wants to be a Ranger and the Rangers have made it very clear they’d like to keep him long-term. Agreeing to an offer sheet would be unlikely.

Max Paciorietty on LTIR

According to CapFriendly, Max Pacioretty has been moved to long-term injured reserve after first being placed on normal injured reserve, He suffered a lower-body fracture earlier this month and was added to the list of injuries that have been plaguing the Golden Knights.

Related: Today in Hockey History: Oct. 25

The good news here is that the team will get some cap relief to do something here if they want. The bad news is they’ll be without Pacioretty for a while and will need to be cap-compliant to fit him back onto the roster when he’s finally ready. It will be interesting to see if the organization tries to make a move as they’re currently sitting with a 1-4 record in the Pacific Division. Many had them pegged to lead the division.

Sharks Unlikely to Terminate Evander Kane’s Contract

According to Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now, the San Jose Sharks might look into the option of reaching a settlement with Evander Kane to terminate his contract but the team is unlikely to find a way to do so. A buyout is probably the only real choice the Sharks have if they want to move on.

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Unlike when the Los Angeles Kings terminated Mike Richard’s contract, the Sharks don’t really have a case here that Kane did anything that might stop him from playing hockey for them. And, because the NHL already suspended Kane, the team can’t use their morals clause in their contract as grounds for termination.