It’s Showtime! Rangers acquire Patrick Kane, legendary Blackhawks player could debut tomorrow night

Stop the presses. It’s Showtime! The Rangers finally got their man. They acquired Patrick Kane from the Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional 2023 second round pick and a fourth round pick. Per Frank Seravalli, the Blackhawks plan to announce the three-team trade tonight.

The conditions on the second round pick are that it can become a first round pick in 2024 or 2025 ‘if’ the Rangers make the Conference Finals. Something that should still be challenging considering who they might have to go through.

Emily Kaplan did a good job providing the details on the conditions. She’s become very reliable. Not only is Kaplan a good reporter for ESPN during games. But she usually has good sources. Among female journalists covering the sport, her and Shayna Goldman are the best at breaking trades. A positive for hockey.

With the legendary Patrick Kane finally getting his wish, the all-time Blackhawk finishes a brilliant 15-year career in Chicago by winning three Stanley Cups, an Art Ross, a Hart and Conn Smythe. Taken first overall by the Blackhawks in the 2007 NHL Draft, the former Calder winner concludes with 446 goals and 779 assists for a total of 1,225 points in 1,161 games.

He gave Hawks fans plenty of excitement. There will be so many great memories in Chicago over arguably the best American hockey player. The way in which Kane did it was electrifying. He could score highlight reel goals with ease or make the perfect pass to set one up, leaving fans speechless.

There’s a reason he’s called Showtime. He is a special player who can be a difference maker. The Rangers are banking on Kane to deliver similar heroics in the clutch. Kane finished with a four-game point streak by putting up seven goals and three assists to spark a six-game winning streak. That included his 11th career hat trick on Feb. 19 in a 5-3 win over the Maple Leafs.

Number 88 left Hawks fans by providing more highlights in what’s been a dismal year for the franchise. Chicago has 47 points in 59 games for a .398 win percentage. The Ducks also have 47 after defeating the Blackhawks last night. Only the Blue Jackets have fewer points with 44. The chase for Connor Bedard is on. Especially with the Hawks subtracting so many players.

As far as where Kane ranks among the legendary list of Blackhawks that includes Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Denis Savard, Steve Larmer and former teammate Jonathan Toews, who formed a dynamic duo fans won’t soon forget, here’s a look at the key categories.

All-Time Blackhawks Franchise


1. Stan Mikita 1396

2. Duncan Keith 1192

3. Patrick Kane 1161

4. Brent Seabrook 1114

5. Jonathan Toews 1060

6. Bobby Hull 1036


1. Bobby Hull 604

2. Stan Mikita 541

3. Patrick Kane 446

4. Steve Larmer 406

5. Denis Savard 377

6. Jonathan Toews 371


1. Stan Mikita 926

2. Patrick Kane 779

3. Denis Savard 719

4. Doug Wilson 554

5. Bobby Hull 549

6. Duncan Keith 520


1. Stan Mikita 1467

2. Patrick Kane 1225

3. Bobby Hull 1153

4. Denis Savard 1096

5. Steve Larmer 923

6. Jonathan Toews 880


1. Bobby Hull 433

2. Stan Mikita 379

3. Patrick Kane 324


1. Steve Larmer 153

2. Bobby Hull 152

3. Stan Mikita 150

4. Patrick Kane 122


1. Bobby Hull 98

2. Stan Mikita 84

3. Jonathan Toews 69

4. Patrick Kane 67

Undoubtedly, Kane leaves a great legacy behind. He is an all-time great Chicago Blackhawks player who ranks in the top five statistically. When your name is amongst legends like Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Denis Savard, and the completely overlooked Steve Larmer, who helped the Rangers win the Cup in 1994, that’s some list to be a part of.

It’s sad that he won’t play for them anymore. That Blackhawks logo and jersey is among the best the sport has to offer. That he and Toews became such great players along with a core that included Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Corey Crawford, Brandon Saad, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Andrew Shaw, speaks to how much those teams meant to Chicago. They won three of the franchise’s six Cups, including Kane scoring that fluky winner in sudden death to beat the Flyers in 2010. The first Stanley Cup they’d won since 1961 when Hull and Mikita starred with Glenn Hall.

When they won their second Cup in 2013, Kane won the Conn Smythe by posting 9 goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 23 postseason games. He went 10-18-28 in 2010 and led all playoff scorers with 23 points (11-12-23) when the Blackhawks won for the third time in 2015. That was their most challenging, having to go through the very tough Ducks and Lightning to make it three Cups over six seasons.

For his playoff career, Kane has scored 52 goals and added 80 assists for 132 points in 136 games. He’s a proven performer. Even facing the game’s best player Connor McDavid and Hart winner Leon Draisaitl in the Stanley Cup Playoff Qualifier, he helped lead the underdog Blackhawks to an upset of the Oilers in four games during 2020. Kane had nine points (2-7-9) in what turned out to be his final postseason for the Hawks. They were eliminated by the Golden Knights in five during the first round of the expanded format.

Even in a down year with the hint of possible hip surgery this summer, Kane still ranked second in team scoring behind Max Domi with 45 points (16-29-45). He missed some time due to the injury. Then, he was held out for the predictable trade to the Rangers, who were the only team he’d accept a deal to.

Kane used his full no-movement clause (NMC) to force the Blackhawks into a trade that limited the return. In all honesty, I think what they got back stinks. To not even be able to get a prospect, whether it be Zac Jones or Matthew Robertson, or even Will Cuylle, that is the unfortunate part of doing business with a superstar who had full control over his preferred destination.

I’ll be blunt. I don’t feel the Kane trade is fair. It highlights a league issue that hopefully one day will be addressed. Giving players full NMC hurts teams. Especially if things change like they did with the Blackhawks. The harsh reality is that Kane was going to leave once his contract expired after the season. So, they had no choice but to get what they could.

I guess the Blackhawks and some of their fans will become fans of the Rangers this Spring. That way, they can get back a first round pick next year. What else is there to root for?

With Kane possibly debuting tomorrow night versus the Flyers in a game that can be seen on TNT and is also listed as MSG 2 at 7:30 PM EST, there will be a level of excitement not seen since Marty St. Louis came over from the Lightning in the memorable blockbuster captain for captain trade that sent Ryan Callahan and two first round picks plus a seventh to Tampa.

At least Glen Sather got a second round pick as well. He turned that into Keith Yandle, who was rented for two playoffs. Sather sucked at trades. He didn’t even use the leverage he had. Chris Drury is different in that respect.

MSL delivered some big goals during the team’s run to their first Stanley Cup Finals since ’94. None more emotional than the first goal he scored versus the Penguins on Mother’s Day. The arena shook during Game Six. A series the Rangers rallied back from a 3-1 deficit to pull out. There also was the clutch overtime winner in Game Four during the Eastern Conference Final to pull the Rangers within a game of the Cup Final. They would defeat the Canadiens in six.

The difference between Marty St. Louis and Patrick Kane is that Kane has a little more left. He should be very motivated to prove he can still help lead a playoff contender to a Stanley Cup. He’s chasing his fourth Cup.

It is also a unique opportunity to play on the grand stage at Madison Square Garden. A place that seems to attract some of the game’s best players. Kane will be reunited with former Hawk Artemi Panarin. They’ll likely be penciled in by coach Gerard Gallant to play on the second line with Vincent Trocheck, who’s had his best stretch in Year One on Broadway.

Kane can certainly help the Blueshirts score at even strength and improve an inconsistent power play. He’ll replace Vladimir Tarasenko on the top unit. With a maintenance day for Mika Zibanejad, after returning to score a big power play goal following blocking a shot that sent him to the locker room on Sunday night, we’ll see if PP1 is as expected. That would be Zibanejad, Adam Fox, Panarin, Chris Kreider, and Kane. A very scary proposition for opponents to deal with.

I imagine Tarasenko will be on the second power play. Who will he replace? Not Trocheck or Filip Chytil. Would Gallant take Alexis Lafreniere or Kaapo Kakko off to insert Tarasenko on that right side? I’d actually prefer it to be Kakko since he isn’t a shoot first player or overly physical. Lafreniere does the gritty stuff by working the back boards and working in front. Neither K’Andre Miller nor Jacob Trouba are good fits on the point. Would they consider five forwards? Maybe Trocheck on one side and Chytil the other. It’s risky.

While this all is fun to speculate, K’Andre Miller will not be available over the next three games. As expected, following the hearing yesterday for his spitting incident that saw a loogie land on Drew Doughty, who accepted his apology, the league suspended Miller for three games. The same amount Garnet Hathaway once received a few years ago.

It doesn’t matter if it was intentional or not. It’s unacceptable. It can’t happen. I believe Miller when he says he didn’t mean to do it. I don’t think it’s in his character to intentionally spit on an opponent. He’s too polite. He barely throws his weight around despite his stature. It goes against who he is.

I’m surprised there aren’t more incidents where players are getting splashed by accidental loogies. Some players do it. Mark Messier was known for spitting during games. But it usually was after he scored a goal while on the bench. I’d imagine probably after drinking some water from the Gatorade bottle. I remember my brother Justin would joke about it, and we’d share a laugh.

For anyone complaining over the ruling, please shut up. You sound ridiculous. I’ve never seen a fan base complain so much over minor stuff that’s not debatable. There’s also a league conspiracy against our team during games. Please. Officiating is the same for every team. Sub standard. They don’t catch everything. The speed of the game makes it harder to officiate. Video reviews should be quicker. That must change.

As far as Braden Schneider goes, he can come back up from Hartford for tomorrow’s game. Ryan Carpenter will return to the Wolf Pack. The only question is if Ryan Lindgren, who’s still being termed “day-to-day” for an upper-body injury that clearly was his left arm being exposed on a tough T.J. Oshie hit that wasn’t illegal despite more conspiracy theories from the homers. Can the team recall a defenseman for the Flyers game?

Does Zac Jones come up if the Rangers are cap compliant? If Lindgren can’t go, they’re currently left with only five on the active roster. Adam Fox. Niko Mikkola. Jacob Trouba. Braden Schneider. Ben Harpur. That’s assuming Lindgren can’t return with Miller serving the first of a three-game suspension. I hope they’ll be able to recall someone. We’ll have to wait and see.

As for the ramifications of the trade for Kane, it’s pretty simple. The Rangers are all in. You make this move to win a championship. As good as he still is, Kane doesn’t provide the defensive aspect or grit. That’ll fall on Barclay Goodrow, Tyler Motte, and new fourth liner Jimmy Vesey, who’s gone above and beyond since making the team on a pro tryout. He earned his new contract that keeps him in NYC past this season. Good for Vesey.

The Rangers should boast two scoring lines that can strike both in transition and on the cycle. They’ll need more from Tarasenko, who’s expected to play with Zibanejad and Kreider. The top two goal-scorers on the team. Zibanejad leads 31, including 18, on the power play while Kreider has 25.

It’s still that younger third line that must provide the key secondary scoring they were able to last year. That would be the 23 and Under forechecking unit of Chytil (19 goals), Lafreniere (11 goals), and Kakko (12 goals). They combine speed, strength, and play-making to win board battles to pin opponents in. That cohesive trio remains a big part of how far the Rangers can go.

On paper, the look of the Rangers four lines has balance. They should be able to roll four lines. The only area that could be a concern is the lack of physicality. Expect opponents to continue to take liberties with the star players. You better believe that’ll include Kane and Panarin.

The Rangers will have to stand up to it. Trouba certainly will use his size and strength to send a message. So will Schneider. We know Lindgren can land the big hits at key moments. He’s the glue of the back end. If the injury he has is serious, they should not bring him back until he’s fully healthy. It’s not about the remainder of the regular season that matters.

It was a welcome change to see the shorthanded roster minus three skaters once Miller was ejected, play with more structure during a big 5-2 home win over the Kings. That’s how they have to play. It can’t be open season on Igor Shesterkin. Limiting turnovers and transition is the key to long-term success. Hopefully, there will continue to be a renewed commitment to playing better team defense.

For players such as Panarin, Tarasenko, and Kane, it can’t be all about offense. They must make smart decisions with the puck and hustle back. You don’t win 16 games between April and June by outscoring opponents. Both Kane and Tarasenko know that.

When he makes his debut, Kane will become the third Rangers player to wear number 88. The ill-fated Ken Hodge and Eric Lindros both wore it. Unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned. Showtime is looking to change that.

There’s so much happening now. It’s less than 72 hours until Friday’s 3 PM EST trade deadline. More moves are being made as I finish this post. As expected, here we are.

We’ll see if anything else happens between tonight and tomorrow prior to the game in Philadelphia.

J.T. Miller’s name has been floated. But he signed an extension. I doubt it’s for him. I could see it being Brock Boeser, who doesn’t fit in Vancouver anymore. Or perhaps Conor Garland.

There was one more trade made by Toronto who again upgraded their defense. They added Erik Gustafsson from Washington and the rights to Boston’s 2023 first round pick in exchange for Rasmus Sandin. Pretty slick.

With the big names already gone, look for secondary players who can help teams to get moved. The Rangers are done buying. Now, it’s all about proving it on the ice. No matter where they wind up, expect a tough road ahead.

There are no guarantees. We’ll see where things wind up.


About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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