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In an otherwise quiet time of year, Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane
has been all over the place. It’s not for the right reasons, either. First came word that No. 88 was under investigation for a sexual assault near his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y.. With word of that, EA Sports then pulled Kane from the cover of the highly anticipated NHL 16, a cover that originally featured Kane and teammate Jonathan Toews. And even then, there was news that teams were inquiring on the status of Kane and whether or not he’d be available via trade. ‘Five or six teams’ called, apparently.
Many have been quick to assume (or hope) that the Boston Bruins, a team whose top goal-scorer (Brad Marchand) put just 24 pucks in the back of the net, were one of those teams. The Bruins finished the 2014-15 season with just 209 goals scored as a team, the 22nd-best mark in the league, so adding a player like Kane, a talent that’s scored at least 20 goals in every NHL season he’s played (Kane even scored 23 in the lockout-delayed 2012-13 campaign) would make sense. In theory. Again, in theory.
But while we’re here, let me dispel this one: Even if the Blackhawks have interest in shopping their lethal right-winger out of town, the Black-and-Gold will not trade for Patrick Kane.
Not now, and maybe not ever, actually.
This is not to suggest that Kane is not a player any team in this league would avoid. His resume speaks for itself. He’s scored 205 goals and 557 points in 576 regular-season games. The 26-year-old has also put forth an absolutely incredible playoff resume to date, with 48 goals and 114 points in 116 career postseason contests. He’s won three Stanley Cups with the ‘Hawks, and a Conn Smythe in 2013.
It’s the uncertainty surrounding the 5-foot-11 winger that makes anything but a match in Boston.
First of all, nobody has a clue how his case will play out. You’d have to be a fool to trade for a player whose future is a complete unknown at this point. (It’s somewhat similar to the Los Angeles Kings trying to find a way to dump Slava Voynov
). You’re sure that at some point Kane will play again, but there’s simply no sense in trading for that without knowing full well that he will. And if the Bruins traded Tyler Seguin
for maturity issues when it came to his lifestyle and alleged partying issues, why in any world would they make a move for Kane, a player that’s had issues with alcohol and now a potential rape case to his name? In short, they wouldn’t. They absolutely would not.
Then there’s another major issue and that’s Kane’s contract. While the actual salary dips over time, Kane is on the hook for a massive $10.5 million cap-hit through 2023. And the Bruins, a team that just
got themselves out of cap-hell with major financial maneuvering, are not a club that can fit that salary in, nor are the Blackhawks a team that can afford to ‘eat’ money on Kane’s salary (they have less than half a million in cap space and still have yet to re-sign center Marcus Kruger).
Sure, the Bruins, with $4.7 million in cap space at the moment, could send a package like Brad Marchand
($4.5 million), Chris Kelly
($3 million), and a medley or prospects and picks to Chicago and make this (hypothetical) trade work from a financial standpoint. But if the Bruins had to take an honest look at their team, you’d almost feel more comfortable having a second-line Marchand for $4.5 million per season than a personality-retooling Kane at $10.5 million.
That contract, no matter Kane’s (hypothetical) production in Boston, coupled with long-term deals to Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Tuukka Rask, would make it hard and borderline impossible for the B’s to re-sign impactful pieces of their youthful core when their entry-level deals come off the books.
The Bruins are in no rush to return to that nightmare.
Even if it that would mean passing on Kane.
Ty Anderson has been covering the Boston Bruins for HockeyBuzz.com since 2010, is a member of the Pro Hockey Writers Association's Boston Chapter, and can be contacted on Twitter, or emailed at Ty.AndersonHB[at]gmail.com