NHL Rumors: Rangers prep for Patrick Kane trade, James van Riemsdyk a plan B for Timo Meier runner ups

The NHL Rumors mill is heating up and with no name hotter that Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane.

It’s true that he’s been red-hot with seven goals and ten points in his last four games, but the reports that began on Wednesday are fanning the flames even higher.

NHL Rumors: Rangers prep for Patrick Kane trade

For those not following the situation closely, Patrick Kane to the New York Rangers was considered a foregone conclusion starting at the beginning of the year. The pending UFA and his old friend Artemi Panarin have mutually expressed a desire to play with each other again.

When the Blueshirts traded for Vladimir Tarasenko on February 9, Kane was publicly stunned and disappointed. According to reporting from ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, the two sides were close to a deal before several factors made it fall apart. However, she relayed that Kane still feels there’s a change a deal can be done. That was followed by the NY Post’s Larry Brooks report the GM Chris Drury is actively exploring a trade.

The hurdle for the Rangers will be fitting Kane’s $10.5 million salary cap hit, which will require a third party. At this time, the Rangers are believed to have already contacted several teams about that possibility. Even with a third party, the Rangers need to accrue cap space and have begun doing so but making Vitali Kravtsov and Jake Leschyshyn unavailable for last night’s game versus the Red Wings for “roster management” reasons.

This is a huge flag that something is afoot. New York has been reportedly interested in Arizona’s Nick Bjugstad, but would be able to fit his $900K cap hit without making a single move come March 3 Trade Deadline. All signs point to a much bigger deal in play.

Kane, 34, has scored 45 points in 54 games this season.

NHL Rumors: James van Riemsdyk

The list of suitors for James van Riemsdyk appears to be the same ones after Timo Meier.

This season, van Riemsdyk has 23 points in 39 games and his linked to the likes of the Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars, Vegas Golden Knights, and Minnesota Wild. You can also add the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche to the mix.

nhl rumors james van riemsdyk
Dec 17, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Jaroslav Halak (41) makes a save as Philadelphia Flyers left wing James van Riemsdyk (25) screens him during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

“I’m looking at Winnipeg, Vegas, Carolina, you know some teams that are not in on Meier, like Minnesota and Colorado I believe are keeping tabs on JVR,” Chris Johnston said on TSN. “Look there was some question at some point, with a $7 million cap hit whether James van Riemsdyk would be moved at this deadline. I think with the level of interest and the fact that the Flyers are willing to retain some salary, it is an inevitability that he will be traded in the next week or so.”

I’ve maintained that van Riemsdyk would be a nice fit to Jack Eichel’s game in Vegas for awhile.