Kane bids farewell to Blackhawks, Rangers express excitement, Quick dumped by Kings in low fashion

For 15 years, he called Chicago home. After getting taken number one overall in 2007, Patrick Kane made the Blackhawks an exciting team to watch. Teaming up with Jonathan Toews, they formed a dynamic duo that the team would build around.

How special were Kane and Toews? It only took the Blackhawks a couple of years to climb the top of the mountain and become Stanley Cup Champions. They defeated the Flyers in 2010 on Kane’s shot from a sharp angle that snuck past Michael Leighton to stun everyone. He knew it was in and celebrated the memorable goal that gave the Hawks their first Cup since 1961.

Toews won the Conn Smythe by tallying seven goals and a playoff best 22 assists for 29 points. He would become one of the most respected two-way players in the game. A great captain who led by example, the 2006 third pick won the Selke as the game’s best defensive forward. He also took home the Messier Leadership Award to highlight the last season the Blackhawks won it all in ’14-15.

While Kane was far more dynamic due to his puck wizardry that would see him make the highlights often, Toews was the leader of those Chicago teams that won three Cups to double their franchise total to six. It’s unfortunate that Toews has suffered from setbacks recently with one of the best players in franchise history unable to play. It’s possible he could retire. That would be a sad ending to an outstanding career.

When the trade was revealed last night that sent Kane to his preferred destination in the Big Apple where he won’t debut until Thursday night when the Rangers host the Senators, the all-time Blackhawk said goodbye to the only franchise he’s known. Showtime thanked the organization and, most importantly, the fans.

The memories he and Toews created along with a great team will last forever. That’s the way it should be for Hawks fans. They might not have won back-to-back Cups. But they were the closest thing to a Dynasty during the previous decade.

Similar to the Devils between ’95 to ’03 and also to baseball’s San Francisco Giants, who captured three World Series Titles between 2010-14, the Blackhawks were a dominant team opponents feared. Boasting a core that featured Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Corey Crawford, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook, they were always a threat. Had the Kings not knocked them off, they could’ve won one or two more championships.

With Kane not arriving until later tonight, he won’t play against the Flyers. Instead, he’ll wear the familiar number 88 in the Broadway Blueshirt tomorrow versus the Senators. That’ll leave the Rangers a forward short and possibly down a defenseman if Ryan Lindgren (day-to-day) isn’t ready to return with K’Andre Miller suspended.

As for the particulars on the trade, the Coyotes were the third team involved. They’ll pick up 25 percent of Kane’s contract. With the Blackhawks retaining 50 percent, that allowed Chris Drury to complete the transaction with little wiggle room. Here’s the full details of the three-team deal.

Andy Welinski is a defenseman who played in Hartford. He is now in the Blackhawks organization and will probably play for Rockford in the AHL. Vili Saarijarvi is a former Red Wings third round pick who is playing in Switzerland. He was with the Coyotes, who sent him to the Blackhawks to receive a 2025 conditional third round pick from the Rangers.

Cooper Zech is a minor league player who originally signed with the Flyers in 2021. The Blackhawks acquired him last October for Evan Barratt. He spent time with both Rockford and the Indy Fuel in the ECHL. He’s expected to join the Wolf Pack.

Of course, there’s the conditional 2023 second that can become a first round pick if the Rangers reach the Conference Finals. That would be either a 2024 or 2025 first going to Chicago. Plus, a 2025 fourth round pick.

With everything finally done, here were some thoughts from a few new teammates who are excited to have Kane.

As expected, Kane will play on a line with Vincent Trocheck and close friend Artemi Panarin, who can’t wait to reunite with his former Hawks line mate. That should be exciting to watch.

Outside of Kane making his Broadway debut tomorrow night against Ottawa, the Rangers will play five of the next six games on the road, including tonight at Philadelphia. Following Thursday’s home game at MSG, they’ll go on a four-game road trip with stops in Boston Mar. 4, Montreal Mar. 9, Buffalo Mar. 11, and Pittsburgh Mar. 12.

That’ll be followed by a five-game home stand, which is highlighted by two straight games against the Penguins on 3/16 and 3/18. The Capitals, Predators, and Hurricanes will all visit.

Now that we’re all caught up, it’s time to get back to playing games. The trade deadline shouldn’t be as chaotic as most of the big names are gone.

I can’t believe the Kings traded Jonathan Quick without telling him. He found out following last night’s 6-5 shootout win over the Jets, which was highlighted by a four-goal game from Anze Kopitar. The all-time winningest netminder in Kings franchise history was very upset after learning he’d been dealt to NHL worst Columbus for Vladislav Gavrikov and Joonas Korpisalo.

This feels similar to the crap Glen Sather pulled with Brian Leetch, trading arguably the greatest Ranger in franchise history on his birthday on Mar. 3, 2004 to Toronto. He never even approached him about it.

I guess Rob Blake is just as despicable. Quick deserves better. How messed up is this? Teammates were clearly upset by the news after the win. Quick even flew back to LA with the team. That’s how unhappy he is.

A great goalie who won 370 games and had 57 shutouts, which are franchise records, the 37-year old Quick won two Stanley Cups, including the Conn Smythe in 2012 after finishing runner-up to Henrik Lundqvist for the Vezina. You can make the argument that Quick belongs in the Hockey Hall Of Fame.

He doesn’t have as many wins as Lundqvist (459) or shutouts (64). But he won two Cups and has good enough numbers to be considered. That includes a career 2.46 GAA and .911 save percentage. He outplayed Lundqvist when they went head to head in 2014. It’s still a bitter memory.

There have been other trades as well. But I wanted to include the unpopular Quick deal that has united hockey fans against the Kings. That’s not how you treat an all-time great player. Imagine if the Rangers had done that to Lundqvist. There would’ve been a protest and season subscriptions canceled.

Anyway, it’s Rangers/Flyers at 7:30 tonight. The Devils visit the scorching hot Avalanche at 9 EST. Timo Meier could make his debut. More later.


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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1 Response to Kane bids farewell to Blackhawks, Rangers express excitement, Quick dumped by Kings in low fashion

  1. hasan4978 says:

    Quick in Vegas is a nice, juicy storyline if it ever leads to some playoff matchup with the Kings. It’s not even that trading him in itself is bad, it’s the not giving him a heads up that’s unseemly. But the difference between Kane and Quick is one guy got a NTC and one guy didn’t, and as a result the guy who did, got to pick where he went while the guy who didn’t had to settle.

    Figures today wound up being a whole lot of nothing, not even an aftershock after the earthquake of this week. I didn’t even feel like turning on the NHLN cause I knew there wasn’t much left on the docket today.

    Liked by 1 person

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