Why parting ways with Patrick Kane, a franchise legend, was the right move for the Blackhawks

It was a move that had been in preparation for months. During the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Chicago Blackhawks traded Alex DeBrinkat and Kirby Duch for draft equity, signaling the start of a rebuild. This led to the big question: Will the Blackhawks trade franchise icon Patrick Kane?

The final answer to this question was given on Tuesday, when the Chicago Blackhawks Traded Kane to New York Rangers for a conditional 2023 second-round pick and a 2023 fourth-round pick. If the Rangers win two playoff series in 2023, the conditional second-round pick will become a first-round pick in either 2024 or 2025.

The move marks the end of an era for one of the greatest players to ever wear the Blackhawks jersey and one of the greatest American-born NHL players ever. Kane’s praise speaks for itself. He helped the Blackhawks win three Stanley Cups (2010, 2013, 2015) and win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP during the 2013 Chicago Championship.

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Patrick Kane


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In 16 seasons with the Blackhawks, Kane is second in points (1,225), second in assists (779), third in goals (446), third in games played (1,161), fourth in powerplay goals (122) and fourth in by performance. winning goals (67). Among American-born players, Kane is fourth in points (1,225), fourth in assists (779), and seventh in goals (446).

So, with all the history between player and team, was this the right move for the Blackhawks? The answer is a firm yes for both sides.

Kane will become an unrestricted free agent this summer and likely has no plans to renew his contract with the Blackhawks. Soon after the start of the 2023/24 season, Kane will turn 35, which means that the tires may not have a ton of tread left. It is possible that in recent productive years, Kane wants to play for an opponent, thereby facilitating a trade to the Rangers.

From the Blackhawks’ point of view, it’s not that bad. Chicago got two picks in the draft for a player who was going to leave anyway (and with the addition of Vladimir Tarasenko and Kane to a group of forwards that already includes Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad, there’s a pretty good chance that New York might reach the deep playoffs, which means that one of those draft picks that Chicago currently owns will become a first-round player).

On top of that, Kane had all the cards as there was a no-trade clause in his contract. Kane essentially dictated where he wanted to be traded, so Chicago’s options were extremely limited. With the Blackhawks now looking very clearly into the future, where exactly does Kane’s move leave them?

Kane off the roster definitely boosts Chicago’s chances of having the worst record in the NHL and a higher hitting percentage at No. 1, and with it potential star of the generation, Connor Bedard. Bedard has taken the hockey world by storm over the past year. He has an incredible 114 points (54 goals and 60 assists) in 45 games for the Regina Pats in the Western Hockey League this season.

According to Money PackThe Blackhawks currently have a 14.5% chance of winning the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery, third behind the Columbus Blue Jackets (17.7%) and the Anaheim Ducks (15.2%). On Wednesday, the Blackhawks are tied with the Ducks for the second-most points (47) in the NHL. Only the Blue Jackets have fewer points – 46 on their account.

Chicago achieved this with Kane in their roster for most of the season. With Kane, forward Sam Lafferty and defenseman Jake McCabe gone, there could be several more losses on the horizon before the regular season comes to an end.

Relocating an aging Kane and replacing him with Bedard would certainly be a dream scenario, to say the least, for Chicago – if it happens.

Source: www.cbssports.com

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