Patrick Kane hurting, time for New York Rangers to focus on Vladimir Tarasenko trade
The New York Rangers are definitely in the mix for a top-six right wing at the NHL Trade Deadline which is less than four weeks away. They’ve been attached to Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane for a long time, but after Elliotte Friedman’s latest podcast they may want to focus on someone else.
“I was talking to guys that have played against him recently,” Friedman revealed. “They can see he’s really gutting it out and he’s not 100 percent. What this one player said to me is that you can tell he’s not Patrick Kane, but he really praised him for the effort.”
If that doesn’t scare some teams off, I’m not sure what will. However, to be fair, Kane spoke on Monday about the injury and explained it’s not something he thinks about when he’s on the ice per Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Kane, 34, has 9 goals and 34 points in 45 games this season.
Rangers should shift from Patrick Kane to Vladimir Tarasenko
Kane addressed the media on Monday and noted that teams have reached out to his agent Pat Brisson and the Rangers are believed to be one of those teams.
“There’s definitely opportunities out there that are intriguing and could be exciting.” Kane said. “We’ll see.”
“We talked about it in the summer with Pat (Brisson, his agent),” said Kane, a 34-year-old forward. “We’ll just probably be taking it up to the deadline and making a decision. I mean, he’s told me a few that have reached out to him. So, yeah, we’ll probably talk about that possibly, too, if that’s an option of getting traded and obviously figure out a team that could be the best fit. But we’re not really at that point either.”NHL.com
Of course, if Kane is being hampered by a painful injury there’s no way the Rangers should give up any significant assets to acquire him.
That’s why GM Chris Drury needs to monitor the situation closely but be ready to move on another confirmed target, St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko. Per a trusted source, the Rangers explored a deal for him last season and is considered a better fit than Kane.
Tarasenko, 31, has notched 10 goals and 29 points through 38 games to date.
At All-Star weekend, Tarasenko chatted with the media and left his future with the Blues as cloudy as ever.
“Vladi doesn’t know the future of Vladi,” Tarasenko said. “There is only one guy who knows more than me, and his name is Doug Armstrong. I think that’s the guy who you should talk about my future with the Blues (with).”The Athletic (subscription required)
Tarasenko is a pending UFA with an AAV of $7.5 million and he still has an open trade request that has not been publicly rescinded. It’s also been speculated that he’s going to test the free agent market in July upping the probability he will be dealt.
The big winger has a full no-move clause, but it was reported he’d waive it to play for the Rangers. That should help GM Chris Drury in what should be a very reasonable package that must include at least a 2023 first-round pick, and probably Vitali Kravtsov.
One other player that fans are obsessing over is San Jose Sharks forward Timo Meier. There’s also speculation that he’s the Rangers’ number one target at the deadline, but that seems to me like posturing from the Meier camp to drum up interest.
Meier, 26, is having a great season with 28 goals and 48 points in 51 games. He’s not a pure rental as he’ll be an RFA with arbitration rights and has a qualifying offer of $10 million.
Besides the assets the Rangers would need to fork over, and that includes either Alexis Lafreniere or Kaapo Kakko, the salary cap math doesn’t add up.
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