Patrick Kane may rethink his future with the club if Alex DeBrincat is traded in the off-season. This was brought up by NBC Chicago’s Charlie Roumeliotis in his latest article. It’s playing out similarly to when Artemi Panarin was shipped to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2017.
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) June 16, 2022
Patrick Kane Future Unclear with Hawks
Kane is entering the final year of his contract which pays him $10.5 million. The contract also has a full no-movement clause that gives Kane all the power. New full-time general manager Kyle Davidson doesn’t want a John Tavares-like situation where he loses a star player for nothing. However, the Buffalo native can veto any trade that’s presented to him.
Kane does like playing with DeBrincat, but his name has been tossed around in deals as of late. Kirby Dach‘s name has been also thrown around as the Blackhawks think about their future. Chicago was set to make a big splash last off-season with Seth Jones and Marc-Andre Fleury. However, those moves landed with a thud and the Hawks became sellers.
The three-time Stanley Cup champion did say he likes playing with younger players, but he’s formed a bond with DeBrincat. It’s oddly similar to the one he formed with Panarin. Kane’s incentive to stay through a rebuild may lessen if DeBrincat is shipped off this off-season.
What it Means
It would be very odd to see Kane in anything other than a Blackhawks sweater. However, it’s the nature of the flat-cap world. Money is tight and there’s only so much to go around for the players. Dealing Kane would likely land Chicago a haul of players, picks, prospects or any combination of the three.
Patrick Kane: “It’s exciting for me personally. I’ve always enjoyed being around the young guys, I can learn from them, too.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 4, 2021
Trading “Showtime” would also give the Blackhawks more salary cap flexibility and a chance to spread the money around to fill multiple gaps in the lineup. That $10.5 million might go a little further if it’s not being given to just one, star player.
This also may call the future of captain Jonathan Toews into question. The Winnipeg native has the same $10.5 million salary and the contract also ends when the 2022-23 season concludes. Would Toews be willing to stay through a rebuild by himself? He also has a full no-trade clause like his longtime running buddy. Would the Blackhawks really be willing to burn the whole thing down by trading both Toews and Kane?
If one or both of them are gone, it will be the end of an era in the Windy City. A big part of the Blackhawks’ run last decade will be over when either one or both depart. That departure may happen a lot sooner than one thinks.