The New York Rangers and Patrick Kane a perfect fit, for just one party

Patrick Kane #88, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Patrick Kane #88, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

For the last few months, it has been hard to ignore how great a fit Patrick Kane and the New York Rangers would make at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline. Kane would get to contend for a championship, and the Rangers would get another talented top-six winger for a playoff run. However, after acquiring Vladimir Tarasenko, adding Kane does not make sense anymore.

The New York Rangers have their top six add in Tarasenko, an addition that has worked out great so far. Tarasenko has two points in his first three games with the Rangers, and it has been fun to watch him alongside Artemi Panarin.

The Rangers addressed a need on their team and are now better positioned to contend for a Stanley Cup Playoff run. They might add a few more pieces as they still have another draft pick in play in the first round as well as some other picks and prospects to consider moving out, but overall their team is set as is their salary cap situation.

Adding Tarasenko cost the Rangers in salary cap space. The Rangers are on of the many teams up against the Salary Cap, so to imagine a situation where they can find an extra five million or 2.5 million for Kane does not seem likely, which brings me to why this perfect fit is one-sided at this point.

Patrick Kane and the New York Rangers: a one-sided perfect fit

Patrick Kane has a no-movement clause and is in control of his future. He can tell the Chicago Blackhawks where he wants to go, and the team will make that happen. However, there is one thing the Blackhawks cannot do.

The Blackhawks and Patrick Kane cannot make another team trade for Kane, even if he wants to go to that team. With Kane’s regression in play this season and rumored injury problems, Kane is definitely being undervalued, and there is a chance he has now become priced out of the market for a deadline trade.

Adding Kane made sense for the Rangers until they added Tarasenko in a trade. So does that mean Kane and the Hawks waited too long to get the ball rolling on this? Sure, that could be the case, but I also think that is not completely accurate.

I do not think this is a situation where Kane and the Hawks should have tried to move him a few weeks ago or even a month ago. Instead, this is a situation where he should not have played a game with the Hawks this season.

The Blackhawks entered this season trying to win the draft lottery. Sure, the players are not actively tanking on the ice, but they were being set up to lose with the way the roster was constructed. So even before the injury issues with Kane, he was not positioned to succeed this season.

Last year Kane put up 92 points in 78 games, including 26 goals and 66 assists. The Hawks were not great, but Kane still had a good season playing with players like Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat.

Last year at the deadline, the Hawks would not have been moving Kane just for a few months. It would have been a two-year commitment where Kane would be at a cap hit of a little over five million or around 2.5 assuming another team was involved in a trade. With him having a good season and the fact that he was still under contract for another year, the value for Kane would have been high, as would the market to add him.

The same would have been true this off-season. At that point, a team would be trading for a player they would have for an entire season. There would have been no doubt about his play, considering he was coming off a strong season. Even though it looked like he was favoring something and not looking like himself last season, Kane’s value would have still been through the roof. Now approaching the deadline, the situation is drastically different.

As a future hall of fame player and three-time Stanley Cup Champion, Patrick Kane deserves to assess the entire league and determine the perfect fit for him in a trade. At that same time, trying to find that perfect fit could come at a cost of waiting too long and a team moving on.