Is Patrick Kane a pure trade deadline rental or will you have to sign him?

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Patrick Kane is 99% likely to be traded this season to a Stanley Cup contender. However, Elliotte Friedman may have thrown a wrench into the works with his recent spot on NHL Network.

“The plan is [Kane] and (Jonathan) Toews will meet with the Blackhawks early in the new year and start to go over teams that interest them,” Friedman said. “I always believed the Rangers and Kane were a marriage that made a lot of sense. But if the Rangers don’t get going, I wonder if it makes sense. It might not because you’re going to have to sign him, not just rent him.”

Is Patrick Kane a pure trade deadline rental?

nhl recaps patrick kane
Dec 3, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) argues with an official in the third period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Kane, 34, leads the team with 20 points in 26 games this season. He will be a UFA this summer and has a full no-move clause to control where he lands. The Blackhawks will also need to retain 50% of his $10.5M cap hit in order to make a trade work with a contender.

It’s long been rumored that the New York Rangers were a top destination, and still remain so despite recent hiccups.

Prior to Friedman’s new info, Kane was expected to be a pure trade deadline rental this season. That meant giving up picks and prospects with the high probability that he would walk this summer via free agency to the highest bidder. Having to trade and re-sign Kane may not fit many contenders plans.

Chicago may also ask for more in a package with the understanding that Kane will be signing wherever he goes.

Many of the teams in the market for Kane are already up against the salary cap this season and will have a hard time adding a potentially big contract for next year. The cap itself is only expected to rise by a million dollars in 2023-24 to $83.5 million before a bigger jump to $87.5 million in 2024-25. That makes timing a real issue.

So will Patrick Kane, who has a full no-move clause stipulate that any trade for him must have a contract extension in place before he accepts? If that’s the case, the number of suitors could dwindle down dramatically.