Should the New York Rangers take a swing for Patrick Kane?
The New York Rangers were looking really good before making a trade for forward Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Niko Mikkola last week. They’ve only looked better with them. However, with the Eastern Conference looking like a gauntlet of hazards to get by in order to reach the Stanley Cup Final, should GM Chris Drury take a swing at Patrick Kane?
Let’s face it, the Boston Bruins are going to add to their team as are the Carolina Hurricanes. Both teams are rumored to be after Jonathan Toews. Meanwhile the New Jersey Devils are the favorite to land Timo Meier.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, who don’t need anymore scoring added Ryan O’Reilly late yesterday, and the Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to add gritty forward Tyler Bertuzzi before the NHL Trade Deadline on March 3.
As Eastern Conference teams aggressively continue to load up, the Rangers should at least investigate the possibility.
New York Rangers can still trade for Patrick Kane
Believe it or not, there’s a path salary cap-wise to trade for Patrick Kane.
Speaking with PuckPedia, if the Rangers were to send down Julien Gauthier or trade Vitali Kravtsov for a draft pick soon, they could have about $2.7 million in space for March 3.
They would then need the Hawks to eat 50% of Kane’s cap hit, plus get a third team to help drive the AAV down a full 75% from $10.5M to $2.625M.
We just saw from the Maple Leafs trade for O’Reilly what it would cost to get a their party to eat more cap space. Toronto gave the Wild a fourth-round pick to help out in the deal, so a mid-round selection by the Rangers would need to go to whomever that third party is.
While this is probably an oversimplification, it does show that there’s certainly things the Rangers can do to make a deal for Kane.
If Patrick Kane want the Rangers, you need to try
When the Rangers made their big trade last week, Patrick Kane openly expressed his disappointment.
“It’s not like the happiest I’ve been to hear about a trade,” Kane said via Mark Lazerus. “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.”
There’s been recent speculation that Kane was only willing to waive for the Rangers and Leafs. If that’s the case, only the Rangers have a first-round pick left to execute a trade for him.
According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, a decision from Kane is expected next week between Tuesday and Thursday per his agent Pat Brisson. Should Kane only waive his full no-move clause for the Rangers, then Drury has to try.
Kane, 34, has 37 points in 51 games this season but that’s due to playing for a dysfunctional Hawks team. He’s also dealt with a lower-body injury that he claims was overblown by the media.
There’s been a lot of talk that the Rangers are in the market to tweak their fourth-line, but that can also be accomplished by adding Kane. Just imagine putting the third all-time scorer among U.S. born players into your top-six. The domino effect would have Jimmy Vesey bumped off the second line and playing on the fourth.
In the end, the Rangers would be swinging for the fences and it will the come at a decent price. Drury has to part with his other first-round pick, and likely his second and third rounders in 2023 as well. Plus players and prospects like Vitali Kravtsov, Zac Jones, and Julien Gauthier will most assuredly be part of this deal or another to make cap room.
The bottom line is simple, if Patrick Kane wants to play for your team, you have to listen.
NHL News and Rumors
NHL Recaps. All the latest scores here.
Toronto Maple Leafs trade for Ryan O’Reilly. Details here.
NHL Rumors: Tyler Bertuzzi drawing interest. Read more.
NHL Rumors: Is Timo Meier helmet bound. Read more.