The NHL trade deadline is a week away and it seems that the New York Rangers are continuing to go big-game hunting.
During New York’s 4-1 loss to Detroit on Thursday, the team made Vitali Kravtsov and Jake Leschyshyn healthy scratches amid rampant rumors of the team looking at a potential deal for Chicagi Blackhawks winger, Patrick Kane.
Kane and Rangers have been rumored for each other since the 2022-23 NHL season began as a potential trade partner. Kane has been on a recent hot streak recording 10 points in his last four games while also continuing to show interest in a potential deal to New York.
When the Rangers made a deal over a week ago with St. Louis for Vladimir Tarasenko, Kane went out of his way to comment on the situation saying he was disappointed in the deal being made while also maintaining the Rangers were one of the few teams he would waive his no-trade clause for.
With over $900,000 in cap space and a few assets still available, it doesn’t seem the Rangers have given up their hopes for a player of Kane’s caliber.
In fact, the recent benching of both Kravtsov and Leschyshyn are the two players that needed to be moved in order to allow for a trade for Kane to be facilitated. There’s no secret why the Rangers would make both players sit as the deadline draws nearer.
Still, there’s no guarantee that a trade can be done. While Kane is currently not practicing with his Blackhawks teammates currently, Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Chicago reported before puck drop that no trade was currently imminent for the star.
More work would need to be done if the Rangers were to add Kane though. The 3x Stanley Cup winner carries a cap hit of over $10 million. Chicago and a potential third team would need to clear a majority of that cap space in order for this trade to work. Those are two significant obstacles that stand in New York’s way of acquiring two tremendous offensive talents in multiple weeks.
Still, there are very few times in hockey where a situation like this arises. New York adding both Tarasenko and Kane to an already loaded offense with stars on each line would make them an incredibly hard team to stop in the playoffs.
In a loaded Eastern Conference where every potential matchup has the chance of failure, it doesn’t seem New York and general manager Chris Drury are content with the current roster.
And arguably the biggest fish left in the deadline pond could be the turning point in the Rangers’ season.