NHL Rumor Mill – November 28, 2022
WILL PATRICK KANE STAY WITH THE BLACKHAWKS OR CONSIDER A TRADE?
Lazerus still believes Kane truly wants to stay in Chicago but feels that the long-time Blackhawks superstar is wearing down as the losses pile up for the rebuilding club. He now thinks that a trade could be inevitable.
Kane still hasn’t given any indication as to his intentions. He’s in the final season of his contract with a $10.5 million cap hit and a full no-movement clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The speculation over Kane’s future – and that of fellow Blackhawks franchise player Jonathan Toews – began shortly after last season’s trade deadline as management made clear its intention to rebuild the roster. As the Blackhawks continue to flounder, media conjecture over their respective futures will grow once the calendar flips to 2023 and the trade deadline appears on the horizon.
Recent reports claim Kane could meet with management sometime in December to discuss his situation. At some point, he’s going to have to make a decision. The 34-year-old winger can finish out the season with the Blackhawks and head to free agency and a fresh start elsewhere next July or decide to pursue a Stanley Cup with another club this season and perhaps bolster his free-agent value in the process.
Kane’s contract remains a significant obstacle on the path to a trade. Nevertheless, we can expect the Blackhawks to attempt to get creative with potential trade partners to make this work, such as retaining up to 50 percent of his remaining cap hit.
As Lazerus indicates, however, the final decision rests with Kane. Sometime between now and March 3, we’ll have our answer.
SABRES REPORTEDLY INTERESTED IN CHYCHRUN
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Lance Lysowski took note of Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek wondering aloud if the Sabres would be a dark-horse candidate for Jakob Chychrun during Saturday’s “32 Thoughts” segment on Hockey Night in Canada. He also noted Marek’s colleague Elliotte Friedman recently reported the Coyotes’ asking price includes a pair of first-round picks (either prospects chosen in previous drafts or future selections) plus “something else.”
Lysowski cites sources confirming the Sabres are among several clubs to have expressed an interest in acquiring the Arizona Coyotes defenseman. Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams declined to discuss Chychrun when contacted by Lysowski on Sunday. However, Adams admitted he’s always on the lookout for anything that can improve his club.
With over $17 million in cap space, the Sabres can easily afford Chychrun’s $4.6 million annual salary-cap hit through 2024-25. Lysowski believes his style of play would fit well on their blueline, taking pressure off younger defensemen such as Rasmus Dahlin, Owen Power and Mattias Samuelsson.
The Coyotes’ asking price, however, could be a problem for the Sabres. Adams has stated his desire to maintain a stockpile of high-end prospects.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t blame Adams for looking into what it would cost to acquire Chychrun. His club has the depth in prospects and promising young players to meet the Coyotes’ asking price. Whether the Sabres GM wants to pay it, however, is another matter.
There’s also the question of whether Chychrun would want to go from one perpetually rebuilding team in Arizona to another in Buffalo. Lysowski pointed out the blueliner has a connection with Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula as he attended high school in Florida with two of their children. However, that might not be enough to convince him to go to Buffalo.
Chychrun lacks no-trade protection this season but it’s believed that the Coyotes want to do right by him if possible by sending him to a club of his choosing. It’s rumored he rejected a trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets in early July.