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It appears the Colorado Avalanche are looking to make a significant acquisition ahead of the NHL trade deadline later this month.
The Avalanche are reportedly one of the teams that have reached out to the Chicago Blackhawks to inquire about Patrick Kane, according to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period.
Pagnotta’s comments come after NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reported that the Blackhawks had been receiving calls about Kane and his availability.
Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson told reporters earlier this week that the franchise was headed for a rebuild. In that case, veteran players like Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marc-Andre Fleury could be traded.
“We’re going to look at more of a rebuild here. There are some things that we really need to fix that are going to take time. We’re not going to put a timeline on it, whether it’s three, five [years], I don’t have that answer right now. That will be determined as we proceed.
“But we really need to do this the right way and we’re going to stick to the plan and take our time with it and make sure that when we get to where we want to go, then it was the result of a plan that was stuck to and not deviated from.”
The Blackhawks have not been competitive over the last few seasons, failing to qualify for the playoffs in three of the last four years. In addition, the team hasn’t made it past the first round since defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals.
Kane is arguably Chicago’s most valuable asset, so it should come as no surprise that the franchise might be open to moving him. The 2007 first-overall pick has been a consistent scorer through his 15 seasons with the Blackhawks. In 1,080 career games, he’s tallied 421 goals and 722 assists for 1,143 points.
This season, the 33-year-old has 17 goals and 38 assists in 51 games. His goals would be tied for fifth on the Avalanche, while his 55 points would be tied for fourth.
There’s no question Kane would be a perfect fit on a championship contender like the Avalanche. However, it’s unclear what Colorado would have to give up in order to land the three-time Stanley Cup champion.
It would likely take at least a first-round pick, plus solid young players and prospects for Chicago to give up Kane. With the Avalanche owning the league’s best record at 40-11-4 (84 points), it’s unlikely they’d want to shake up their current roster.
Colorado would also have to be willing to take on the remainder of Kane’s eight-year, $84 million contract. The veteran is under contract through the 2022-23 season with a $10.5 million cap hit. It’s unclear how the Avalanche would make room to accommodate his deal. According to CapFriendly, the team currently has just more than $777,000 in cap space.
While Kane’s name is being thrown around, the four-time All-Star told reporters Wednesday that it would be an honor for him to finish his career in Chicago. However, he also acknowledged the business side of things.
“There’s probably a lot of time to determine what’s going to happen in that regard, but let’s be honest. I love Chicago, I love the city, I love the fans, the organization’s been amazing to me and my family.
“I think there’s always business decisions. In the game of hockey, there’s not many guys that play their whole career with one team. So it would be a privilege and an honor to do that. But I guess we’ll see how it all plays out.”
The trade deadline isn’t until March 21. So, Kane should at least have a little longer in Chicago before potentially saying goodbye.