2022-23 Rangers Regular Season, Patrick Kane

Why the Rangers went after Vladimir Tarasenko

2/11/23 | Kane spoke on Friday about the Tarasenko trade to the Rangers.

2/10/23 | 8AM: Elliotte Friedman said “What it was going to cost them to get Meier was going to be a lot more than that. What it was going to cost them to get Kane? I don’t know if it would have been more than this, but the one thing I think the Rangers are not sure of is Kane’s health. (Sportsnet)


He added, “Tarasenko was just at the All-Star game, the cost of getting him was not that high. You add Mikkola in the deal which is not an insignificant thing here and you didn’t add any cost. Both of these players are UFAs after this year. The Rangers are going to have some big decisions to make, Chytil’s price is going up, Miller’s price is going up, this is not going to be an easy puzzle for them to fit.” (Sportsnet)

2/9/23 | 3 PM: Emily Kaplan tweets that Vladimir Tarasenko is a player that the Rangers “long coveted” and that they went after him because they felt like the prices for Patrick Kane and Timo Meier were “too high.”

Kaplan adds that it “sounds” like the Rangers had “some concerns” over the hip injury that has had Kane banged up.

Kaplan updates to say that the Rangers never got into trade or price discussions with Chicago because Patrick Kane hasn’t decided on his future, but the Rangers “didn’t want to wait on him” and also “had concerns about his hip.”

Pierre LeBrun wrote yesterday that Kane would make a decision on his future at least 7-10 days before the deadline. (The Athletic)

Adam Rotter: The Timo Meier thing just never made a ton of sense in terms of asset management and keeping him long-term. He fit on paper and the Rangers did have interest, but there are some around the league that believe that the mention of the Rangers interest was being used to drive up the price for Meier.

With Kane, it seemed to make sense because of his history with Artemi Panarin, his Stanley Cup experience, and the fact that they are the Rangers and go after the biggest names. There were always going to be obstacles, like getting his salary double retained, but also him deciding that he actually wants to leave Chicago. A lot of the speculation on Kane was also the idea that the Rangers were going to be his team of choice and that the cost for him wouldn’t be super high. But Kane hasn’t fully decided whether he wants to leave Chicago and, more importantly, he’s banged up. It seems like an injury that he can play through, but one that will require surgery, and while any player can get hurt on any shift, it’s different when you trade assets for an already banged up player.

When you combine the injury and needing to wait for Kane to make his decision, the Rangers felt they had to move on to make sure they could land one of the top players available. They could have waited for Kane’s decision and hoped Tarasenko was still available, he did have a no-trade and would need to approve being moved, as a back up option, but instead, Chris Drury went for Tarasenko and 2+ weeks more of games than he would have gotten if they had waited until deadline day.

The other thing with Kane is, what if the Rangers weren’t going to be his only option? What if Dallas or Carolina or Colorado or another major contender was going to be an option? What if the Devils moved on from Meier and went for Tarasenko, it’s believed that Tarasenko was willing to waive for all three NY area teams? Drury made a decision to strike early and get an impact player. Would it have been great to see Kane skating with Artemi Panarin again? Yes, but with too many unknowns, the standings tight and the team winning, but not always playing so great, Drury decided to make his move and now Vladimir Tarasenko is a Ranger.