The New York Rangers acquired Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks in one of the most high-profile transactions since the NHL created the trade deadline in 1981. Additionally, the Arizona Coyotes got involved in the deal by retaining 50% of Kane’s salary, allowing all the numbers to work for the three teams involved.
In 2021-22, with the game’s best goalie, Igor Shesterkin, the Rangers came within two wins of returning to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2014. As the team prepared for this season, the expectations were high, if not higher, for the team to get over the hump and bring a championship back to New York.
Thus far, general manager Chris Drury has done everything imaginable to ensure his team’s success this year by acquiring two superstars with championship pedigrees.
Ultimately, this year will be considered a complete bust in the Big Apple if Vladimir Tarasenko and Kane don’t add a ring to their trophy since both players are unrestricted free agents at the end of the year.
Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NHL trade rumors
Winner: Superstar Patrick Kane dictates his future
A few weeks ago, Kane was visibly upset that the Rangers acquired Tarasenko from St. Louis, leaving little to no room for his massive contract. Although he never came out and stated his desire to play in New York with former linemate Artemi Panarin, it was clear if the three-time Stanley Cup winner would waive his no-movement clause, it was only to go to the Rangers.
Several contending teams, like the Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, and even Toronto Maple Leafs, inquired about Kane’s services. However, the veteran didn’t seem interested in going to those markets. Additionally, thanks to a Hall of Fame-caliber resume, Patrick Kane earned the right to choose his future, which put the Blackhawks in a bind.
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In the end, Kane got what he wanted, and whether Chicago fans can forgive him for leaving will factor into his legacy in the Windy City. Moreover, the Blackhawks are years away from contending again, so no one can blame Patrick Kane for chasing another championship. Yet, if fans genuinely love him, they will support Kane no matter where he goes.
Winner: The New York Rangers win the 2023 trade deadline
The Rangers were the first team to make a massive splash in the news by acquiring Tarasenko, while the Maple Leafs’ followed with their acquisition of Ryan O’Reilly. Nevertheless, this was only the beginning, with several other superstars finding their names in the trade registry before the deadline.
Interestingly, the east teams are gearing up for one of the most incredible playoff chases ever, employing the services of many western superstars. Obviously, with opponents getting stronger and the Boston Bruins running the table in their conference, the Rangers felt the need to do whatever they could to obtain the necessary pieces to get them into the Stanley Cup Final.
Recently, even though several teams altered their lineups significantly, and there are still a few days before the 3 PM ET deadline, the Rangers will be considered this year’s biggest winners.
Loser: The Chicago Blackhawks watch a franchise icon walk away
In 2010 when the Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup since 1961, many fans and experts knew the team’s nucleus would split up one day. Ultimately, the moves took over a decade to complete, but now only captain Jonathan Toews remains and wasn’t traded this year because of an ongoing battle with COVID-19 symptoms.
Ultimately, the Blackhawks’ prized possession walked away for two conditional second-round draft picks while the team retained 50% of his salary. Even though the Blackhawks could receive two first-rounders if the Rangers advance to the Eastern Conference Final, it isn’t guaranteed.
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Kane scores more than a point per game and is just one season removed from collecting 92 points. Although there was little the Blackhawks could do in this situation except find the best offer from a team on Kane’s preferred list, they only got a little back for their second-all-time leading scorer.
Overall, even though other players have come and gone since 2010, today indeed marked the end of an era in Chicago.