Expect Patrick Kane and J.T. Miller trade rumors to the Rangers all season

As we get set to turn the calendar to September tomorrow, trade speculation regarding Patrick Kane and J.T. Miller will grow by the day.

With that being said, the New York Rangers have already been linked as possible trade destinations for both of those players dating back to last season. The rumors will only stop when one of them actually lands on Broadway or elsewhere.

So while the Blueshirts get ready for training camp in a few weeks, the main focus will be on the here and now. In particular, determining a few open roster sports on the third and fourth lines, plus who will be the sixth and seventh defensemen.

However, Rangers fans should prepare themselves for a lot of trade chatter concerning those two stars for the next few months.

New York Rangers and Patrick Kane

patrick kane rangers
Dec 4, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers goalie Alexander Georgiev (40) looks for the puck after a shot on goal attempt by Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) in the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Kane, 33, has one year left on a deal that hits the cap at $10.5 million. He registered 92 points in 76 games last season and will return a haul of picks and prospects when he’s ready to waive his full no-move clause.

The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta was recently on NHL Network and confirmed that he will be traded by the deadline or sooner.

“I think there’s an understanding from Kane’s side that he’s probably not going to finish the season with the Chicago Blackhawks,” Pagnotta said. “Whether he starts the season with them, that’s a different story. It’s going to come down to what the Blackhawks want to do.”

According to Pagnotta, trade talks have picked up regarding Kane as the season approaches.

“We’re hearing noise out of Toronto, Edmonton, Columbus, and a few other teams,” he noted. “Dallas has interest and you could add Colorado to the mix, the New York Rangers and so on. One thing is certain, [Kane] has made peace that he’s not going to finish this season with the Blackhawks.”

The mention of the Rangers is not anything new. At the last NHL Trade Deadline, Elliotte Friedman reported they were in contact with the Blackhawks regarding Kane.

“It’s been reported and I think it’s true that Colorado has asked about Kane and I believe the Rangers have too,” Friedman said. “It’s been a couple of times this year that teams have asked about Kane and I think those two teams have done it.”

When the time comes, the Rangers may bolster themselves with Kane as a pure rental. They just won’t have the cap space to sign him longterm. That’s where Chris Drury has to be comfortable with what he gives up. The package going the other way will undoubtedly contain their 2023 first-round pick and possibly either Vitali Kravtsov or Nils Lundkvist.

Rangers and J.T. Miller

j.t. miller rangers
Nov 2, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller (9) scores on New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin (31) in the third period at Rogers Arena. Canucks won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

While trade talks died down over the summer regarding Miller, you can expect them to pick up again soon. According to Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal, Miller could very well decide to cease any negotiations with Vancouver come the start of the hockey season.

Miller’s agent Brian Bartlett of Bartlett Hockey told The Athletic this week, that Miller’s camp opts to cut off all contract talks once the regular season commences.

The Athletic

If that’s the case, it would be hard not to see a trade come the NHL Trade Deadline.

Miller, 29, was the Canucks leading scorer last year with 99 points in 80 games. He has one year left on his current deal which comes at a very affordable $5.25M cap hit. Despite his open desire to stay in Vancouver, there’s been rumblings that Miller wants to test the free agent market next summer.

“At this point, with negotiations we’re not as close as we’d like to be. I’m not 100%– everyone has a vision. I want to be here,” Miller told the Dropping The Gloves podcast. “That being said, if it’s not meant to be, I understand that too.”

Similar to Kane, the Rangers would be in on Miller as a pure rental. That goes back to the question of how much Drury is willing to give up in order to land him. For what it’s worth, the Rangers have been considered one of the top landing spots for Miller since the start of last year.

Of the two, Miller may actually be the better fit because he can play center. He would also cost considerably less in assets despite already being many teams’ plan B if they can’t land Kane.

New York has around one million in cap space at the moment, that will equate to around $4.5M at the deadline. One thing I’ve been able to gather is that the Rangers view acquiring either one of those players as a trade deadline move (or at least close to it). There’s no expectation that a deal is coming until then.

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