Apparently, being the best team in the NHL is not good enough for the Colorado Avalanche.
The Avs have reportedly contacted the Chicago Blackhawks about the availability of forward Patrick Kane, which would be an astronomical move for a variety of obvious reasons. Fans will undoubtedly drool over the idea of Kane joining the Avs, but is that even feasible?
The first of many logistical concerns is the size of Kane’s contract. The 33-year-old carries a cap hit of $10.5M in each of the next two seasons, while the Avalanche have less than $800,000 in available space according to CapFriendly.
To make things even trickier, Colorado does not have a single player with a contract the size of Kane’s, which means that a move for the Chicago Blackhawks‘ right-winger would require the Avs to move multiple players from their deep lineup.
In that way, this deal makes sense, because the Avalanche are deep enough to trade multiple players to get it done. However, I’m not sure which players would be both expensive enough to clear space for Kane and young enough to fit the Blackhawks’ potential rebuild.
Could the Avalanche find a way to add Patrick Kane?
Even if we assume for a moment that the Avalanche can make the money work, will the Blackhawks be willing to move their three-time champion to a division rival?
Typically in a trade of this magnitude, the team trading a star will look to ship that player to a place where he cannot cause them problems by playing them four times a season. Now, the Avs and Hawks will not meet again this year, but Kane will be around at least for next season and potentially beyond that to terrorize his former club.
In theory, this seems like something the Blackhawks would want to avoid. The one argument in favor of dealing him within the Central Division anyway is that while Kane and the Avalanche thrive, Chicago will not be in play to win anything in the immediate future.
By that logic, perhaps the destination to which Kane is traded is irrelevant, though it would still be surprising.
The final hurdle in a potential Kane-to-Colorado trade is that the Blackhawks forward has a No-Move Clause in his contract, meaning that any trade involving the Buffalo native would have to be approved by him.
I’m sure that the idea of playing for a Cup favorite this season would be exciting for Kane, but he has spoken recently about wanting to stay in Chicago. Even if he would end up being open to a trade, could we see a Marc-Andre Fleury-like response where he declines to go to a major rival?
I don’t know if the Avs could physically do enough to get this deal done, but if they can, Colorado will be must-watch hockey at all times for the remainder of the season.