New York Rangers could still add Patrick Kane with cap gymnastics

patrick kane new york rangers
Mar 24, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) warms up before the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

So you thought the speculation and rumors about the New York Rangers trading for Patrick Kane would be over.

Yes, the acquisition of Tyler Motte on Sunday actually added over $500,000 to the Blueshirts’ cap situation leaving them with a little over $900,000 in accrued space come the trade deadline on March 3. Just enough to add Arizona Coyotes center Nick Bjugstadt, which I believe is the move they’ll make.

That being said, with a little bit of cap gymnastics and using a third team to drive Kane’s AAV down, it’s still actually possible to trade for the three-time Stanley Cup champion.

New York Rangers could make Patrick Kane fit

NHL Trade Bait Patrick Kane
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The reported demise of 34 year-old Patrick Kane has been grossly over exaggerated. Playing against the Toronto Maple Leafs yesterday, Kane was a one-man wrecking crew leading the bottom-feeding Chicago Blackhawks to victory with a hat trick. It was also his fifth goal in the last two games.

After the game, Kane spoke with the media about recent rumors regarding his future and if he would waive his no-move clause before the NHL Trade Deadline.

“There’s a lot of different reports out there, and not all of them are true. So, you gotta be careful what you listen to,” Kane explained. “I don’t know. I think if I knew (what I wanted to do), I’d probably make the decision already.”

Actually, Kane is expected to announce his desire to be traded as early as tomorrow. Should it be to do so for only one team, which is believed to be the New York Rangers, then GM Chris Drury has to investigate.

Why would I assume it could be just the Rangers? In a stunning move, Kane actually addressed the Rangers trading for Vladimir Tarasenko and publicly expressed his disappointment.

“It’s not the happiest I’ve been to hear about a trade,” Kane said. “If things are going to happen, that was a team I was definitely looking at. It seems like they kind of filled their void and went ahead and made a deal.”

So how can the Rangers fit Patrick Kane under the cap ceiling? It’s complicated and for that I asked for the help from the great website, PuckPedia.

Here’s what would need to happen:

  • Waive Jake Leschyshyn by February 25 to accrue $1.75M+ in cap space
  • Trade Vitali Kravtsov to shed $875K more
  • Get third party involved to drive Patrick Kane AAV to $2.625M (75%)

A tight squeeze and some serious cap gymnastics but not out of the realm of possible.

The Rangers also have their first, second, and third round picks in 2023 to get this deal done. There’s was a lot of talk earlier in the season that the ask was too high, but with Jonathan Toews announcing he would not be waiving his clause to deal with his health, the Hawks may be willing to take whatever they can get for Kane.

I mean what a disaster it would be to the Hawks rebuilding plans if they got nothing for either pending UFA?

We also saw from the Toronto Maple Leafs acquisition of Ryan O’Reilly what it would take for a third party to eat some additional cap hit. The Leafs used a fourth-round pick to the Minnesota Wild to drive O’Reilly’s AAV down.

So is there a possibility to fit Patrick Kane still? Yes, cap-wise it can work.

Do I think it will happen? No, because it requires a lot of pieces to fall into place in specific timeframes for it to happen. However, until they make another trade for a player like Bjugstadt, you can’t rule it out.

Any NHL GM will tell you that.

NHL News and Rumors

NHL Recaps. All the latest scores here.

Check out the latest NHL Trade Bait Tracker right here!

Jonathan Toews dealing wint illness, will not be traded. Read more.

Toronto Maple Leafs trade for Ryan O’Reilly. Details here.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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