The rumor mills are really starting to pick up. I’ve seen articles about Kane going to New York and Boston the most. The idea of Patrick Kane being in any other sweater, than a Blackhawk sweater, is hard to fathom. Let’s take a look at some possibilities.
New York Rangers:
The obvious connection here is Artemi “The Breadman” Panarin. The Breadman played with the Blackhawks at the start of his career, and was traded for Brandon Saad of the Columbus Blue Jackets. At the time, Panarin was going to need a big contract extension and the Blackhawks didn’t have the cap room to give it to him. Brandon Saad was on a new 3 yr contract at 6mil per that the Hawks could afford.
Panarin and Kane played on the second line together and they made a great duo. It established Panarin as a big threat winger, and a sought after player. With the previous success that these 2 players have had together, it could help get the Rangers over the hump. New York is a team with lots of talent. Patrick Kane is a game breaker and could help the Rangers get to the next level.
Looking at some of the comments from Rangers fans makes you wonder if they really want him. Some comments on Twitter and Instagram will show you that some think he is over the hill, he isn’t. You can't base how much of an impact just on his play so far this year. He's on a team that's not built to win, with a brand new coach.
Boston is a bit different. They have a team where their top lines a clicking very well right now. I think if this happened he’d fit in on a line with Taylor Hall and give him a production increase. At the same time he could also play well with Pastrnak.
Boston has really come together as a team and is playing great hockey right now. They could definitely make a splash in the playoffs. However, Kane joining their team could throw off chemistry.
What I think:
I don’t think Kane is going anywhere. First off, I know he’s a competitive guy. He’s made for the playoffs and wants to win. Yes, he could bring back a good player and some draft capital.
That being said, he’s won everything there is to win in the NHL. He has 3 Stanley Cups, an NHL All-Star, Hart Trophy, Art Ross, Ted Lindsay, Conn Smythe, and Calder Trophy. He's played in Chicago for 16 years and is an active legend in town. The Blackhawks have a brand new facility that they opened up a few years ago, and the amenities are state of the art. His girlfriend, Amanda, is from Chicago and they have a child together whom he loves to spend time with.
Will he really walk away from Chicago to chase a cup with a bunch of strangers in New York? Boston? If he hadn’t won one before, I could understand it. I just think he doesn’t need to chase one. His life off the ice has become just as important to him as his life on it. Even though he is a rink rat.
Lastly, the silver lining from losing so much is that the Blackhawks have a possibility of getting the #1 draft pick in the upcoming draft. Conor Bedard is regarded as the next generational player to be coming into the draft. He has 36 points in his last 10 games in the WHL. Kane has seen him play and said he looks like a great player.
If the Blackhawks are able to draft Bedard, I think it’s guaranteed that Kane signs an extension. I could just be romanticizing my admiration for what Patrick Kane has brought to Chicago, but I believe he isn't going anywhere.