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.
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.