In alot of ways we got clarity on the Patrick Kane trade situation today. Not only did a team take themselves out of any potential fit for Kane, but a market was set for his services.
The acquisition of Vladimir Tarasenko by the New York Rangers today should start a dominio effect that should lead to a now reduced pool of teams looking at Patrick Kane should he choose to waive his no movement clause. Please click this parargraph to see the details of the Tarasenko to NYR deal.
As we enter the final 3 weeks (22 days from today) of the trade deadline, it appears clear that there are some teams that are more natural fits for Patrick Kane. I personally see 4 teams as the best fits should he decide he wants to move on from Chicago; the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Vegas Golden Knights.
Sure the Boston Bruins could go "all-in" and add a dynamic playmaker in Kane, slide Zacha to the 3rd line and make a big play in trying to win a cup in a season where expectations were much lower. They could trade a 1st round pick, Craig Smith (3m, pending UFA), and a prospect or future 3rd round pick to make compensation similar to the Tarasenko deal. Kanes' salary retained at 50% and taking on Smiths' 3m with their cap space is almost identical so a deal could come together quickly.
The Toronto Maple Leafs do not need Patrick Kane. They need a more stout defense. Jakob Chychrun (as I've written about) should be their big target. It would, rightfully so, cost them a tremendous package of picks and players though. Prospect Matthew Knies, Pierre Engvall, a 2023 1st and 3rd round picks, and a 2024 2nd round pick would be my ask for Chychrun (retained 50%). The money with Engvall and Chychrun at 50% would be very close to even. I'm sure Kyle Dubas could make the parameters work.
Kane however would be a luxury that could make the difference for Toronto. True, their offense doesn't need Patrick Kane however I offer this perspective; If the Leafs always have the puck then isn't that keeping the opposing offense from scoring as well? Patrick Kane would likely bump one of Jarnkrok or Kerfoot out of the top 6 (both when Matthews is healthy).
A Justin Holl and Alexander Kerfoot return would work money wise for a 50% retained Patrick Kane return. I would expect their 2023 1st and a 2024 4th to be included. Kerfoot is a decent middle 6 player I would then think the Blackhawks would try to flip to a 3rd team if this deal got done quickly.
Carolina would be my pick if I were Patrick Kane as I see them as an elite playmaker away from being a true Stanley Cup Contender. They have the cap space and can take on Kane as a rental without much movement too. GM Waddell doesn't normally make moves like this, so that would be my hesitation here though.
If they did decide to acquire I'd ask for D Jalen Chatfield (762.5k with an extra year), their 2023 1st, prospect Zion Nybeck. and a 2024 4th.
It's Vegas however that looks like a real fit for Patrick Kane. With captain Mark Stone being injured and his cap space soon available the Knights can make a big move..... and they are not shy about making such a risky move. If Stones' 9.5m goes to LTIR, the Knights could fit Kane without moving out any NHL salary. It would be a pure rental for them without a doubt and I imagine a 1st and prospect combo would get a deal done.
The Golden Knights have plenty of attractive prospects, but wouldn't it be fate that Pat Brisson helps broker a deal that involves his long time client Patrick Kane for his son, Michigan forward Brendan Brisson? I'm sure the Knights don't want to give up the former 1st rounder AND their current 2023 1st round pick.... but if anyone is going to overpay for a chance at a Stanley Cup, it's Bill Foley.
Which of these 4 deals makes the most sense for all 3 parties involved? Honestly, I could see each scenario playing out the way I've written it. I do however want Patrick Kane to win, so my answer is the Carolina Hurricans as I see them (with Kane) being a truly special team.
With 3 weeks until the deadline there will be no shortage of rumors, rumblings, and speculation out there. Let's all enjoy it!