Latest on Patrick Kane and Cody Franson.
Kane trade unlikely.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa notes a recent report out of Chicago claiming five NHL teams inquiring about Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, who is current the subject of a rape investigation. Shinzawa considers a trade, regardless of the investigation’s outcome, unlikely.
He notes the Blackhawks would be selling low, plus the teams that could afford Kane’s $10.5 million salary-cap hit are already near the cap ceiling, while those with cap space are budget clubs. The only way those teams could afford Kane is if the Blackhawks pick up part of his cap hit, which they’re not in a position to do, given their own limited cap space.
Shinzawa doubts the ‘Hawks could get a decent return, citing what the Toronto Maple Leafs got in exchange for shipping Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shinzawa makes excellent points here. I’ll admit trading Kane remains a possibility if Blackhawks ownership is determined to have him gone no matter the cost, but such a move likely happens next June, when teams have more cap space and a willingness to spend. Even then, it’s not easy. Kane has a full no-movement clause and, like Joe Thornton in San Jose, could dig in his heels and refuse to waive it. The only certainty right now is Kane won’t be dealt while the investigation is ongoing.
Update on Franson.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports former Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis had to convince team president Brendan Shanahan the club was better off trading defenseman Cody Franson than re-signing him. Nonis was able to get a first-round pick (subsequently traded) from the Nashville Predators for Franson, whose poor play with the Predators led to the rapid decline in his free-agent value this summer. Simmons believes Franson is available to every NHL team at a short-term, bargain-basement price. He feels Franson and his agent misread the market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the original speculation that the Franson camp sought a six-year deal worth $6 million annually was correct, they certainly did misread the market. Nonis caught a lot of flak from Leafs fans for his dealings (justifiably, in some cases – hello there, David Clarkson), but he got the Franson move right. NHL training camps open in almost a week’s time and Franson remains unsigned. From what I gather, the best offer he’s received so far is a two-year deal from the Buffalo Sabres. It’ll be interesting to see how long he hangs in there waiting for a better deal.