The fire had so much smoke that it was really just a matter of time – and clearing cap space.

Eleven days after Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane bowed out of the lineup to await a trade, he has a new home in Manhattan. Pending a trade call and waiting until they have enough cap space, New York Rangers will acquire Kane Tuesday night in a three-team trade with the Arizona Coyotes stepping in as a third-party broker. The Blackhawks receive a 2023 conditional second-round pick that can become a 2024 or 2025 first-rounder and a 2023 fourth-round pick. They retain 50 percent of Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit at $5.25 million, while the Coyotes also swallow $2.625 million, meaning Kane fits under the Rangers’ cap for just $2.625 million, or 25 percent of his original cap hit. In exchange for their services, the Coyotes receive a 2025 third-round pick from the Rangers.

Kane, 34, struggled for much of this season, fighting off a nagging hip injury and playing with the weakest supporting cast of his career. But he appeared to shake off the injury in February and entered his self-imposed hiatus as hot as any player in the NHL, ripping off seven goals in a four-game span and showing in the process that he still has plenty left to give in his Hall of Fame career.

Will Kane put the Rangers, who already acquired Vladimir Tarasenko earlier this month, over the top in their quest for a Stanley Cup? Or is he a mere luxury that doesn’t necessarily alter the makeup of an already-loaded roster?

Let’s grade the trade.



  • RW Patrick Kane, 34 – $2.625 million cap hit (75% of $10.5 million retained between CHI and ARI), 2023 UFA

Kane will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He’s a three-time Stanley Cup winner, a Hart Trophy winner, an Art Ross Trophy winner, a Conn Smythe Trophy winner, a Calder Trophy winner and a three-time first-team all-star. He has more than 1,200 career points and, depending on how much longer he plays, should retire as one of the top 20 scorers in league history.

The big question is, however: which version of Kane are the Rangers getting? He’s not the peak superstar version that was one of the best four or five players of his generation. Points per 60, primary assists per 60, scoring chances per 60 – name the 5-on-5 play driving metric and it’s the lowest or close to the lowest of his career. Kane has also been a black hole defensively – which is saying something for a player never known for his play in his own end. With Kane on the ice at 5-on-5, opposing teams get more than 60 percent of the scoring chances. Among 298 forwards with at least 500 minutes played this season, Kane ranks 296th in on-ice scoring chance percentage. Defense pretty much doesn’t exist for him.