Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers? Not This Again

Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers?

Anyone else having deja vu?

A report from Frank Seravalli at The Daily Faceoff linked the dynamic winger to several teams, including the Rangers. So, we’re back to this.

While it may feel a bit like last year when Kane to New York felt like the worst kept secret in the NHL, a lot has changed — both good and bad — for both player and organization. 

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nhl trade bait patrick kane
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There were many more knowns last spring than this fall. For one, Kane’s cap charge was known, meaning GM Chris Drury knew the amount of available dollars needed to add him to the roster.

Drury acted accordingly, shuffling players off the roster with demotions and trades. He even had the team play shorthanded for several games to accrue the needed space for No. 88.

Kane, meanwhile, only wanted to play in Manhattan. While there were hurdles to jump through, Drury wasn’t bidding against other GMs for arguably the greatest American-born player in history. 

Lastly, Kane was unhealthy. It was well-known he was dealing with hip issues all season in Chicago that led to offseason surgery.

Those factors are gone as we approach November.

The biggest hurdle facing New York is cap space. While things were tight last season, New York leveraged Chicago and Arizona to both eat large sums of Kane’s salary to make the numbers work. That luxury is gone, and with CapFriendly projects the Rangers with just under $705,000 in space, it’s difficult to see how the money could work.

Going a step further, the two other teams Seravalli linked to Kane were Detroit and Kane’s hometown Sabres. As it stands, both teams have significantly more cap space than the Rangers, with Buffalo having more than $9M available, per CapFriendly.

Similar to last year is whether Kane is even needed in New York. Anyone who kept even a passing eye on the 2022-23 Rangers saw Kane’s arrival being more disruptive than positive. The chemistry with Artemi Panarin was average at best, while his addition to the power play threw a wrench in its success.

Would a healthier Patrick Kane make a difference?

Does a healthy Kane make this team better? More balanced? Harder to play against? A true contender?

The jury is out.

Kane’s turning 35 in November. He’s coming off hip surgery. He’s played 1,323 games including playoffs.

Drury and new head coach Peter Laviolette have put both Kaapo Kakko and Alexis Lafrienere in top-six roles to start the season. Thus far the results have been exceedingly positive.

Kakko is sporting a Corsi rating of more than 60% with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad at 5-on-5, while Lafrienere potted the first goal of the season and showed chemistry with Filip Chytil and Panarin.

Adding Kane likely pushes Lafrienere back to left wing and onto the third line. The ripple effect is sending Will Cuylle to the fourth line, something he doesn’t deserve after his training camp and strong start to the season.

Kane spoke highly of his short stint with the Rangers. He clearly felt they didn’t get the full Showtime experience, and the Rangers likely felt the same way.

Patrick Kane to the Rangers? 

Deja vu all over again.

Matt Calamia spent six seasons as a digital content producer and writer for the New York Rangers. Prior to... More about Matt Calamia

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