With some news outlets reporting that a deal is in place, Patrick Kane is still not officially a New York Ranger. But if the four-time All-Star and former Hart Memorial Trophy does switch to the blue sweater of the Rangers, it will be a major coup for a team looking to get to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in nearly three decades.
But complicated is an understatement when describing the potential haul the Rangers could get at the NHL trade deadline. That’s because the salary cap and roster restrictions may hamstring the team from adding Kane and others before the 3 p.m. Friday deadline.
Could this happen, and how will it affect New York Rangers odds? Let’s take a look.
What Will Rangers Surrender to Obtain Kane?
Like Homer Simpson looking at a donut, Patrick Kane has been making dreamy eyes at the Rangers for a while now. The former number-one draft pick grew up in Buffalo and rooted for the Rangers as a kid. He’s long spoke of his affinity for skating in Madison Square Garden. “It’s a special place with a magical history,” Kane once said of playing at MSG. And last month, when rumors tied him to a deal with the Rangers, he said, “I think the Rangers are a team that you definitely pay attention to and definitely are intrigued by, for obvious reasons.”
Those obvious reasons are about to make Kane, who has 45 points in 54 games for Chicago through Tuesday, a member of the Rangers. This season, New York is intent on getting back to the conference finals. Currently, they sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division, with a decent chance of hunting down the Hurricanes for the top spot.
But which player or players will the Blackhawks pry away in exchange for Kane? That could depend more on money than talent. The Rangers are not going to want to take all of Kane’s $10.5 million cap hit. The Rangers have committed more than $102 million to their payroll for the 2022-23 season and are in danger of pushing up against the NHL cap limit. That would make it more difficult for the team to fill out a roster for next season.
The Rangers are already making way for Kane: last Saturday, the team dealt Vitali Kravtsov (who has an $875,000 cap value) to Vancouver. On the next day, Jake Leschyshyn was sent to the minors, along with his $767,000 price tag to the NHL cap limit.
According to The Hockey News, it’s likely the Rangers will invite a third team into a three-way deal involving Kane. That way, New York could have the Blackhawks eat half of Kane’s cap hit, and the third team takes say, 1/3 of it in exchange for a player or two.
How Kane Trade Would Impact New York Rangers Futures Odds
The Rangers are going to make the playoffs with or without Kane. They may even get deep in the NHL Playoffs without the 34-year-old right-winger. But their chances of getting past the Boston Bruins and other top teams in the east would improve with Kane in a Ranger line.
There are already some NY sports betting lines out there. FanDuel NY prices the Rangers at +700 to win the Eastern Conference. They are +2400 to win the Metro division. Over at BetMGM NY, the Rangers are +650 to win the East, and Caesars NY has them at +550.
New York Rangers Futures Odds
With the addition of Kane, the Rangers could pull even with the Maple Leafs and Hurricanes and ahead of the Devils in the +800 to +1000 range to win the Stanley Cup. Of course, much will depend on who the Rangers give up and how well the team plays down the stretch.
Bruins are Team to Beat in Eastern Conference
A bolstered Rangers offense will still need to show it can play on both sides of the puck and get past the Bruins, the clear favorite to win the conference and the cup. But, if we’ve learned anything in the NHL Playoffs, it’s that almost any team can wipe any other team off the bracket. Even the Bruins can lose four games in a seven-game series.
The Rangers have been manhandled by the Bruins in two games so far this season. To win the east, the Rangers will need to be tougher and handle the puck with more care. At times, the team looks like a toddler with a remote control: not sure what it’s doing, but capable of confusing things.
Kane is a steady force and a still-capable puck handler with nerves as steely as the blades under his feet. He’ll surely be invigorated if he finally gets to be a Ranger and fulfills his childhood dream.
The Blackhawks have announced that Kane won’t play for them between now and the trade deadline midday on Friday. For the Rangers, every roster decision going forward hinges on a Kane deal. It’s not a matter of whether the team gets their man. It’s just how much it will cost.
Feature Image AP Photo/John Munson