Patrick Kane’s time with Blackhawks might be limited as Knights visit
The Vegas Golden Knights will take a five-game winning streak with them on the road to Chicago on Tuesday night in what could be the final home game of Patrick Kane’s storied Blackhawks career.
Chicago, which leaves on a four-game road trip that begins with a meeting with Dallas on Wednesday, has just two home games left before the March 3 trade deadline. The other one is March 2 against the Stars.
There has been plenty of speculation that Kane, who led Chicago to three Stanley Cup championships and won the Hart (MVP) and Art Ross (scoring) trophies during his career, could be dealt by the Blackhawks. Chicago is in full rebuild mode and occupies last place in the Central Division with a meager 41 points.
Kane is in the final year of an eight-year contract signed on July 9, 2014, and has the final say in a potential trade because of a full no-movement clause he would have to waive. Two teams that were reported to be potential trade partners for the Blackhawks include the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs, who have already made major deals with St. Louis. The Rangers recently traded for Vladimir Tarasenko and the Leafs picked up Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari from the Blues on Friday.
Vegas, Dallas and Edmonton have also been mentioned as possible destinations. The Rangers reportedly were his preferred choice.
“I think there’s a lot of different reports out there and not all of them are true,” Kane said after scoring the ninth hat trick of his career and also garnering an assist in Chicago’s 5-3 victory over Toronto on Sunday. “Got to be careful what you listen to.”
Kane has scored 14 goals this season, including five over the past two games. He received a thundering ovation from the United Center crowd of 20,979, the second-largest turnout of the season, after being named the No. 1 star of the game on Sunday.
“They were awesome,” Kane said. “I thought they were really into the game. A couple times out there you just get chills with the way they were into it, with the team not doing well and the position we’re in. It was amazing.”
Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson, who is working with Kane’s agent, Pat Brisson, on potential trade prospects, was asked if this could be Kane’s swan song with Chicago.
“It is what it is,” Davidson said. “It’s just a situation that it is, so it’s like, what are you going to do about it? That’s kind of where we’re at?”
Vegas brings the NHL’s longest active winning streak into the contest after jumping out to a 4-2 first-period lead in an eventual 5-4 victory over Tampa Bay on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
The five-game winning streak is the second longest of the season for the Golden Knights, who won nine in a row from Oct. 24 to Nov. 10 during a 13-2-0 start to the season.
Knights center Jonathan Marchessault ended a 13-game goal drought with two goals, and defenseman Shea Theodore added a goal and two assists against the Lightning.
“It’s the time of the year (when) we have to step up,” Marchessault said. “We have to find a way to get through and a way to win hockey games. I think right now we’re doing that, and we have a good thing going.”
–Field Level Media