Rangers clear space for Patrick Kane: send Vitali Kravtsov to Canucks for 7th rounder

Rangers trade deadline targets
New York Rangers right wing Vitali Kravtsov (74) skates past Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (77) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
AP Photos

The New York Rangers have completed the necessary roster moves to potentially come to an agreement for the services of Patrick Kane. 

New York has sent former first-round pick, Vitali Kravtsov to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for William Lockwood and a 2026 seventh-round selection. With Kravtsov’s contract off the books, and the additional waiver of Jake Leschyshyn, the Rangers will have enough cap space to take on a quarter of Patrick Kane’s contract by March 1st. 

Kravtsov had been a healthy scratch for the Rangers over the last two games and was held out of practices due to “roster management” decisions. 

The Rangers’ former first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft struggled to make the team over the last few seasons. After being sent down during the 2021-22 season, Kravtsov chose to go back to Russia instead of attending his assignment in Hartford. 

The right-winger struggled to make a name for himself during 28 starts in the current season recording just six total points during the season. 

While no trade for Kane has become official yet, New York now has the necessary space in cap and overall resources to facilitate a trade for one of the league’s most accomplished players. 

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