The glory days of the 2010s are well behind the Chicago Blackhawks, and with the team in full rebuild mode and Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, it seems like only a matter of time before both players get a change of scenery.
Both integral parts of the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup runs in 2010, 2013, and 2015, each has commanded a cap hit of $10.5 million over the past eight seasons, with no movement clauses.
Toews and Kane have been reunited at today's practice. Gotta do something, I suppose.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) November 29, 2022
There’s certainly a path to Kane and Toews riding out the season with the Hawks, before either re-signing or choosing a different team in the offseason. The only way either of them can be moved is if they specifically ask for a trade, which hasn’t happened yet.
“They’ll want to see who’s legit to win the Cup,” an anonymous executive told The Athletic. “It’s still early to see who’s in the mix. You can say Colorado now, but who knows if they have some injuries that affect that. The Rangers could miss the playoffs. I don’t think those guys want to just go make the playoffs.”
The 33-year-old Kane told Scott Powers’ of the Athletic that he would be speaking to his agent Pat Brisson and Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson soon.
Statue of Liberty or Rocky Mountains?
The New York Rangers would make a lot of sense for Kane; reuniting him with Artemi Panarin would benefit both parties, as Kane was a huge part of Panarin winning the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie in 2016. The Rangers have struggled to develop their young forward talent, and adding Kane would go a long way into making them legit Cup contenders.
The Colorado Avalanche would also be a fit for Kane, not only because of their appeal as perennial contenders but considering their slew of injuries. Nathan Mackinnon is the latest casualty to a list that includes Gabriel Landeskog and Valeri Nichushkin, just to name a few.
Things are trickier for Jonathan Toews, says Powers. As the current captain of the Hawks, there is a higher likelihood he will re-sign with the team at a significant discount in the offseason. There are always teams looking for a second or third line centre, but the price tag might just not be worth it for most clubs.
With three Cups under their belts, Kane and Toews have nothing else to prove, and it’ll be intriguing to see if they remain Hawks by the end of the season.