The media session after Friday’s morning skate was no different from the last handful of trips inside the Chicago Blackhawks locker room. Patrick Kane made his way to his stall and was quickly surrounded by numerous beat reports and television cameras.
Nobody is asking what the team needs to do to stop the Arizona Coyotes or his newfound chemistry with Jason Dickinson. Instead, his future with the franchise and his decision to waive his no-movement clause was, once again, the main topic of discussion. This was amped up even more with the New York Rangers acquiring Vladimir Tarasenko from the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. Fans and pundits alike have been making connections between Kane and the Rangers. Even Kane himself admitted this morning that New York was an attractive destination.
“It’s not the happiest I’ve been to hear about a trade,” Kane said. “I think the Rangers are a team that you definitely pay attention to and definitely are intrigued by, for obvious reasons. Obviously, they made a move to get him and another big defenseman, so you’ve got to respect them going out and trying to make their team better.”
Kane has yet to waive his no-movement clause, so the Rangers jumped on the goal-scoring right wing who was available instead of waiting on Kane’s decision. Emily Kaplan of ESPN also reported they had concerns about the nagging hip injury that has been slowing Kane down a bit this season.
Kane was quick to mention that the story about his hip injury is somewhat blown out of proportion.
“I think I feel better than I did last year, and I had a pretty good season last year,” he admitted. “So, it’s just one of those things; I think maybe the story leaks out, and it piles up a little bit.”
The Blackhawks superstar acknowledged that there are still plenty of good teams out there that have expressed interest in him. When pressed for more details, he said his decision would be made behind closed doors and not in front of recorders and cameras. However, the longer he waits, the more his potential suitors may go the way of the Rangers and pull the trigger on a sure thing before waiting until the last minute.
One quote that stuck out the most this morning was about Kane’s loyalty to the franchise. In this particular case, asking for a trade so the Blackhawks can gain more assets for their rebuild could be considered being more loyal to the team than staying and trying to win games.
“Obviously, you want to do right by the franchise, and the organization here has been amazing to me and given me so much. You definitely want what’s best for both sides.”
The twists and turns of this story, as well as the future of Jonathan Toews, are happening on a daily basis. The good news is that there are just 21 days left until the trade deadline.