The Rangers have officially acquired Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks.
The official trade is:
- Rangers: Patrick Kane, Cooper Zech
- Blackhawks: Andy Welinski, Conditional 2023 Second Round Pick, 2025 4th Round Pick. Retaining 50%.
- Arizona: Conditional 2025 3rd Round pick. Retaining 25%.
The conditions on the draft picks are:
- The Second Round Pick can become either a 2024 First Round Pick or 2025 First Round Pick if the Rangers go to the Eastern Conference finals. The 2024 pick is top-1o protected and slides to 2025 if it falls in the top-10. (Friedman)
- The 2025 3rd Round Pick to Arizona will be either the Rangers pick or the better of the Rangers or Dalllas’ pick. The Rangers will get Dallas’ third round pick in 2025 if Nils Lundkvist gets 55 points combined this season and next. (Staple)
Zech, 24, is a 5-9 defenseman who has played in the AHL and ECHL this season.
Adam Rotter: As we expected for a while and then didn’t expect and then expected again, Patrick Kane is officially a New York Ranger.
It’s not a hefty price for Kane and, maybe most importantly, the Rangers retain their 2023 First Round Pick. It’s always risky trading a future first round pick a year or two down the line because you never know how the team will perform, but they keep the pick if it’s in the top-10 next year. If it’s not then Chicago gets that pick and if 2025 goes down the toilet for some reason then the Rangers will still have that pick. Of course, that only comes into play if the Rangers get to the Conference Finals. If I could nitpick a little, I’d have preferred the added condition of Kane playing in at least 50% of the games, but that isn’t something to kill the deal over.
It’s actually the 2025 Third Rounder that Arizona gets for retaining salary that feels steep, but the Coyotes actually had decent leverage as a third party broker.
The Rangers were fortunate that Kane forced his way to the Rangers and only had to give up a couple of picks and not their first rounder this year or Brennan Othmann, Will Cuylle or even Zac Jones.
The question for now is where exactly Kane fits. I think it’s almost certain that he will start with Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck and then bump Vladimir Tarasenko off the top PP unit. Where exactly he fits on the PP and who Tarasenko takes off the second PP are things that Gerard Gallant and assistant Mike Kelly to figure out.
There is the longer term question of how the Rangers and Kane, if both want it to happen, can finagle him into the tight salary cap situation the Rangers will have for next year. Like with this move, if there is a will there will be a way for Kane to stay a Ranger if it’s what everyone wants.
Another important factor with Kane is both his experience as a three-time champion and as a potential leader/mentor to Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, and Filip Chytil. Even if Kane is just a rental, just his presence should hopefully help develop those three.
How this all actually happened, from when the Rangers traded for Vladimir Tarasenko to now, should be an interesting story. Kane wanted the Rangers and once the Rangers figured out how it could work with the cap and that the price wouldn’t be significant, I’m guessing that James Dolan told Chris Drury to push ahead and add Kane for this playoff push. It didn’t cost a lot to add him, it didn’t cost a lot for Vladimir Tarasenko, they did lose Vitali Kravtsov for nothing, but it ultimately leaves the Rangers with the best collection and deep group of forwards, on paper, that they have had in some time.
Will it work? We’ll see, they have 22 games left before a likely first round match up with the Devils to get everything set. Tarasenko is adjusting after spending his whole career in St. Louis and it’s wrong to think that Patrick Kane won’t go through something similar to that or to what Marty St. Louis did when they acquired him in 2014. Plus there is Kane’s hip issue, but it’s all worth the risk. The Rangers are going for it and Chris Drury has assembled a roster that on paper should be able to go head to head with anyone. We’ll see how it all translates on the ice, but all you can ask is for the organization to put itself in a position to win and they have.