Patrick Kane trade grades: Blackhawks forced to deal star winger to Rangers for minimal return

The Patrick Kane era in Chicago is coming to an end and “Showtime” is making its way to the Big Apple.

The Rangers and Blackhawks reportedly worked out a deal to send the star winger to New York in exchange for two draft picks. Rangers have long been reported as an interesting target for Kane, and ultimately it was the only team he would waive his full no-trade clause for.

The addition of Kane gives Rangers an incredible top 6 from Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Vincent Trocheck. Tarasenko joined in a trade with the Blues a few weeks ago.

It offers Kane an opportunity to add a fourth Stanley Cup to his resume as the Rangers are one of the top teams in a Deep Eastern conference. There is also the potential to reunite Kane with Panarin as the two played together on the same line for two seasons in Chicago in 2015-2017.

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The Sporting News hands out notes to the Rangers and Blackhawks for the Kane trade.

Trading Qualities by Patrick Kane

  • Rangers get: F Patrick Kane
  • Blackhawks get: 2023 conditional 2nd round election, 2023 4th round election
  • Get Coyotes: 2025 Third Round Selection (Rangers)

Ranger: A-

The packages for Tanner Jeannot and Jake McCabe/Sam Lafferty were both more expensive than what the Rangers sent the Blackhawks. That’s a pretty good indication of where this trade ranks for them.

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Basically, New York has one of the best passers and hitters in the peanut game. Kane’s no-trade clause really complicated things for Chicago, and general manager Chris Drury took advantage of that.

Spoiler alert: This isn’t Kane in his prime, however. Kane’s production has dropped significantly this season. He is on course for his worst points per game (0.80) since 2011/12 and for the first time he has not finished a season with as many points as games since 2017/18.

Is he likely to produce more with much better players around him? Absolutely. That’s why this deal has such a big advantage.

The bigger concern is that Kane doesn’t offer any defense. Like none at all. He’s the kind of player you sacrifice on defense because he’s so talented on offense.

But now such players are piling up for Rangers. The team already had an all-offense skater in Panarin. They added another in Tarasenko and a third in Kane. All three are expected to play in the top six, two of them on the same line.

It will put a lot more pressure on Rangers’ top defensive pairings and could limit the offense coming from the backend.

Blackhawks: D+

These types of trades are almost impossible to evaluate for the club sending the player away. You can’t judge it just by looking at it in black and white.

The easiest way to evaluate the Kane deal is to look at similar trades. The easy choice is the Claude Giroux deal from last year’s Frist. The Flyers captain had a complete no-trade clause (like Kane), only wanted to go to one team (like Kane), and had a massive cap hit that kind of had to pass (like Kane).

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Ultimately, the Flyers traded him to the Panthers for forward Owen Tippett, a conditional first-round pick in 2024 and a third-round pick in 2023. Giroux was worth more as of the 2022 reporting date than Kane has this year, so it’s not surprising that it’s outperformed.

However, the Blackhawks haven’t brought any players or prospects back into the deal and are hoping the second-round pick will be a first. The stipulation is that if Rangers win two rounds and make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, it will be a first. Not until 2024 or 2025 though.

That’s not at all the deal that was supposed to be in play when Kane’s trade talks began almost a year ago. Again, it’s hard to blame general manager Kyle Davidson when his hands were tied. But this return is very disappointing.

Coyotes: A+

Arizona is using its extensive salary cap available and will be on the hook for 25% of Kane’s cap. In return, the Rangers will send the Coyotes a third-round pick in 2025

These third-party brokers essentially get free draft picks to help other teams’ finances. It’s money that shouldn’t be used. That’s always a win.

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