Penguins & Blackhawks Emerging as Potential Trade Partners

The Pittsburgh Penguins are expected to go all-in this season as the team is off to a flying start and showing no sign they’ll be slowing down any time soon. While at this point it doesn’t feel like any major moves are around the corner, this could very well change closer to the trade deadline as the Penguins will be loading up for another Cup run. Insert Chicago Blackhawks’ superstar winger Patrick Kane, who is the biggest fish on the trade market this season. Recently, beloved TSN reporter Craig Button sees the Penguins as one of the logical trade destinations for him this season.

As Button points out, all the control lies in the hands of Kane as the veteran forward holds a full no-movement clause and cannot be traded anywhere or anytime without his approval. The Blackhawks are likely to retain 50% of his salary, as it’s unrealistic to think any team is going to be able to fit $10.5 million on the books this season.

Kane’s Agent Has Recent Experience on This Trade Process

Pat Brisson is Kane’s agent, and he also happens to be Claude Giroux’s, and as we saw last season out of Philadelphia, the Flyers kept Giroux and his camp very much in the loop and eventually did right by the player. The Flyers legend was able to play his 1000th game at home for the franchise and was then moved shortly after to the Florida Panthers.

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

When it comes to Kane’s deal, Brisson recently told TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, there’s no rush to complete a trade and the timeline of the deal will be very fluid and controlled by the Blackhawks legend. Kane is off to a relatively slow start to the 2022-23 season, recording only one assist in his first three games. Expect to see the production increase as he’s coming off a 92-point season and still is one of the best offensive talents in the game.

Penguins Have Team to Land Kane From Blackhawks

Penguins’ general manager (GM) Ron Hextall should 100 percent be considering this blockbuster move. Pittsburgh has what it takes to one, get Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson to agree to a deal, but also two, and more importantly, have the team to get Kane to agree to join. While any return is likely going to be significant, considering how much Kane can impact a hockey game, it’s the trade approval that’s the most important element to this scenario.

Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Playing alongside one of Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin every shift is something a lot of teams around the league cannot offer. Kane would provide even more balance to the team’s top-six forwards and of course, give them another element for their power play. Even with Jason Zucker starting the season with four points in the first four games, Kane should be a serious trade target and Hextall and company should do whatever they can to try and win this race.

Penguins Trade Package Likely Includes Young Goaltender

The Blackhawks have a ton of holes to fill as they’re in the beginning stages of a five-year rebuild. Chicago doesn’t have a goaltender of the future at this point and could have some interest in Penguins prospect Filip Lindberg. The 23-year-old Finnish netminder is currently playing in the American Hockey League, and given the fact starter Tristan Jarry is likely signing a long-term extension to stick around Pittsburgh, and the team recently re-signed Casey DeSmith to a multi-year contract extension, Lindberg is quickly becoming a serious trade asset.

Latest News & Highlights

Lindberg is a very athletic goaltender who was an NCAA star. He spent some time in the American Hockey League last season and posted a .915 save percentage in 2021-22. His compete level and fundamentals should translate into NHL success. The Penguins also have Pierre-Olivier Joseph who has been linked to the trade market to start the 2022-23 season and at 23 years old, could be a piece the Blackhawks are interested in. At the end of the day, the trade package won’t be as big as you think, because of the fact it’s Kane’s approval that’s the most important piece. If he says, ‘trade me to Pittsburgh’, Davidson’s job will be getting a deal completed, and it’s not like other negotiations where the GM is in control and decides on which deal is best for their franchise.

Jason Zucker Pittsburgh Penguins
Jason Zucker, Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Another aspect of this deal to keep in mind is the dollars and cents. Kane at 50 percent retention is still $5.25 million against the books, so look for one of Zucker or Kasperi Kapanen to be included in the deal. Likely Zucker, who could very well be flipped once again before the trade deadline as the Blackhawks aren’t necessarily interested in a 30-year-old pending free agent, but may be able to move the winger for another younger asset before the deadline.

At the end of the day, Kane holds all the cards and control over where he finishes the season. The Penguins are going to be a powerhouse in 2022-23 and have shown early on how dominant they can be, which should make them an appealing destination for the Blackhawks’ legend.

Explore everything hockey with THW’s Hockeypedia pages.

The Hockey Writers HockeyPedia 800x120