We all knew it could happen, and it finally did.
Blackhawks legend Patrick Kane was traded to the New York Rangers on Tuesday as part of a three-team trade, according to several reports.
Along with Kane, the Blackhawks sent defenseman Cooper Zech to the Rangers. In return, the Blackhawks receive a 2023 second-round pick (that can become a first-round pick) and a fourth-round pick. The second-round pick becomes a first-round pick in 2024 or 2025 if the Rangers win two rounds in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. They also received defenseman Andy Welinski.
The Rangers had to pull off some significant salary cap gymnastics to make the deal happen. First, the Blackhawks had to eat one half of Kane’s salary, then the Arizona Coyotes received a 2025 third-round pick from the Rangers to absorb the remainder of his contract. The Blackhawks also received defenseman Vili Saarijarvi from the Coyotes in the deal.
Kane had a no-movement clause as part of the eight-year, $84 million extension he signed back in 2014. Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said before the season that he would not approach Kane with a trade unless the winger wanted to move. Kane made that decision, and with the help of Kane’s agent Pat Brisson, the sides were able to hammer out a deal and make things work.
The 34-year-old Kane leaves Chicago as the franchise’s second-all-time leading scorer with 1,225 points over 16 seasons. Only Stan Mikita, who scored 1,467 points over his 22-year career, has more for the Blackhawks franchise.
He is also the third-leading goal scorer in Blackhawks history with 446 regular season goals, trailing only Bobby Hull (604) and Stan Mikita (541).
Scoring aside, let’s take a look at Kane’s career accomplishments:
- Three-time Stanley Cup Champion
- 2006 World Junior U18 Champion
- 2007 World Junior Championship Bronze Medalist
- 2010 Olympic Silver Medalist
- 2018 World Championships Bronze Medalist
- Calder Trophy (2008)
- Conn Smythe Trophy Winner (2013)
- 9x All Star
- 3x First Team All Star (2010, 2016, 2017)
- Art Ross Trophy (2016)
- Hart Trophy (2016)
- Ted Lindsay Award (2016)
Kane exits Chicago as arguably the greatest player in franchise history. His legacy is cemented forever, regardless of how the rest of his career goes. He will have his number retired and should have a statue outside of the United Center for as long as the building stands.