Patrick Kane leaves Blackhawks awaiting trade to Rangers

The Chicago Blackhawks announced earlier today that forwards Patrick Kane and Sam Lafferty would not play against the San Jose Sharks due to “roster management.” Both players have been rumored for trades.

“Based on the current status of Patrick’s situation, we collectively felt it was more appropriate to have him not play during this period of reflection,” Kane’s agent Pat Brisson told Pierre LeBrun.

Multiple reports followed that Kane returned home to Chicago as the New York Rangers continue to work on fitting him under the cap ceiling.

“He was with the team, but as of today he’s flown back to Chicago just until the situation rectifies itself either way,” coach Luke Richardson said today.

Kane, 34, has 16 goals and 45 points in 54 games. He’ll be a UFA in July.

Lafferty, 27, has 10 goals and 21 points in 51 games. He has one more year remaining at $1.15 million.

Patrick Kane awaiting trade to Rangers

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Jun 18, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) and right wing Patrick Kane (88) lift the Stanley Cup trophy during the 2015 Stanley Cup championship rally at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

As Kane awaits, the Rangers are diligently working to get a deal done. That started with placing forward Jake Leschyshyn on waivers and trading Vitali Kravtsov to the Vancouver Canucks for forward Will Lockwood and a seventh-round draft pick in 2026.

Kravtsov made $875,000 and Jake Leschyshyn earns $766,667 for a total of $1.641 million that will be cleared from their cap.

Another wrinkle may be added to mix with defenseman Ryan Lindgren getting hurt in the Rangers 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals. Per PuckPedia, once Leschyshyn clears, they could acquire Kane at 75% retained (need a third party) by March 1. If Lindgren goes on LTIR, it could be sooner.

The media in Chicago is already preparing fans for what’s expected to be a light return for the three-time Stanley Cup champion with 1,161 career points. Thanks to his full no-move clause and the desire to waive it for only the Rangers, they will take what they can get.

The Hawks were seeking at least a first-round pick for Kane but Rangers GM Chris Drury is unwilling to part with it. However, if Lafferty is somehow included in this trade, the Rangers will have no issue parting with that pick.