Rangers, Patrick Kane update: When could blockbuster trade finally be completed?

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Patrick Kane Rangers
FILE – Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) skates during before an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, in Newark, N.J. The New York Rangers have begun the machinations necessary if a trade for Patrick Kane were to materialize. They traded winger Vitali Kravtsov to the Vancouver Canucks and put forward Jake Leschyshyn on waivers on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. That could clear the cap space to get Kane from Chicago. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)

And so the hockey world continues to wait for the completion of one of the biggest deals of the trade deadline where the New York Rangers are expected to acquire Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Reports emerged as early as last week divulging that the framework between the Blueshirts and Chicago was being hammered out and finalized, but the Rangers’ messy salary cap situation has put a halt.

As it stands on Tuesday morning, according to CapFriendly, the Rangers’ cap space is listed at $2.74 million and can increase to $2.94 million by trade deadline day on Friday. The problem is that Kane will be owed roughly $2.625 million for the rest of the season, which is why the Rangers have been forced to wait to accrue the cap space needed to make the deal complete.

As pointed out by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers can acquire Kane on Tuesday after 5 p.m. ET to ensure that he does not count against their cap until Wednesday. 

Rangers trade for Patrick Kane
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) scores against Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger (29) in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)AP Photos

It’s a precarious game to play but a necessary one for New York to potentially find that final missing puzzle piece that they believe can put them over the top in the Eastern Conference and into the Stanley Cup picture. 

That’s why on Sunday, the Rangers dressed the bare minimum of 18 skaters allowed under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement and opted to play just 16 of them — 15 following K’Andre Miller’s ejection. Had Ryan Carpenter or Braden Schneider played against the Kings and gotten hurt, they wouldn’t have been eligible to return to the team’s minor-league affiliate in Hartford to clear some more cash off the books. 

For more on Patrick Kane and the Rangers, visit AMNY.com

Rangers need to right the ship
New York Rangers coach Gerard Gallant, back right, gestures to players during the third period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)AP Photos