Make no mistake about it, the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup competitive window closed years ago, but today still marks the actual end of an era. Blackhawks right-winger Patrick Kane, who long ago solidified his place in Chicago sports history, was traded to the New York Rangers. The deal immediately makes the Rangers a really trendy team, when it comes to making NHL picks for the postseason. They are cup contenders.
It also means the two faces of the franchise, Jonathan Toews being the other, will never play together again in a red Hawks sweater. Unfortunately for Chicago, they did not get much in return for one of the greatest players in franchise history.
While the Hawks continue to languish in dead last place, the NY Rangers just boosted their Stanley Cup odds by adding a 34-year-old forward and nine-time All-Star that can still bring it, night in and night out. It’s actually a three team deal, with the Arizona Coyotes involved as well.
Patrick Kane Trade Specifics
- Rangers receive: F Patrick Kane
- Blackhawks receive: 2023 conditional 2nd-round pick, 2023 4th-round pick
- Coyotes receive: 2025 3rd-round pick (Rangers)
The selection in the second round can become a first if NYR reach the Eastern conference finals this postseason.
KANER! and Jonathan Toews (2006 #3 overall NHL Draft Pick) were the two building blocks, the first pair of cornerstones laid in the rebuilding process that took the Hawks from irrelevant punchline in the 2000s to America’s team for hockey in the 2010s. They won three Stanley Cups together in 2010, 2013 and 2015.
Kane’s departure leaves Toews as the only member of the current roster who was also a part of a Cup winning side.
Toews left the team a week ago, on rehabilitation leave as he focuses on recovering from long covid.
He missed all of the 2020-21 season due to chronic autoimmune response disorder, and he may not return this season. Both players are in the final years of long-term contracts that were signed in July of 2014, so there has been some speculation about their departures, already, for quite some time.
While the Hawks have adopted a philosophy of rebuilding for a couple seasons already, it still never felt like the end of this era until Patrick Kane and/or Jonathan Toews left.
Well, here we are. The team is bad again, and they haven’t done much of anything the past few seasons. They haven’t won the division since 2017, and they have just one playoff appearance, where they won just a single game, since 2018.
However, Kane was (sort of) to the Blackhawks what Michael Jordan was to the Chicago Bulls; at least in the postseason. He delivered the big goals in crunch time that won trophies; plain and simple. He won the 2013 postseason MVP award as well as the 2015-16 MVP, scoring champion awards.
He leaves the Madhouse on Madison as second in career points behind only the legendary Stan Mikita. The Buffalo, NY native skated in 1,161 games, good for third in Blackhawks history. He’s also third in club history with 446 goals scored. He also dished out 779 assists, good for second in club history.
However, as you can see from the photo above and the next few photos that follow, his legacy is complicated. On-the-ice, he was one of the greatest in team history, hands down.
He was the star attraction in the club’s golden era. Off-the-ice, however, he was problematic to say the least. He had a string of notorious incidents (we’re not going to get into those right now because we already covered them at the time) that brought him wave after wave of negative publicity.
As the face of American hockey, for both club and country in the 2010s, this bad publicity was well-earned. But, to quote his famous catch-phrase from one of the cup celebration rallies: “that’s hockey baby!” Patrick Kane is a man who has managed to stay out of major, serious trouble in a court of law.
In the court of public opinion, however, well, his reputation preceded him; persistently. He showed us who he was, over and over again. This is actually quite common among people who reach the top of their profession.
They are not often the kindest and most selfless people around.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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