On Thursday we learned that the Metropolitan Division got a lot better with the addition of Vladimir Tarasenko. NY Rangers GM Chris Drury acquired the former St. Louis Blues forward along with defenseman Niko Mikkola in exchange for Sammy Blais, Hunter Skinner, a conditional 2023 first-round pick, and a conditional 2024 fourth-round pick.
Apparently, that upset current Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane.
“It’s not like the happiest I’ve been to hear about a trade,” Kane said. “I think the Rangers are a team that you definitely pay attention to and definitely are intrigued by, for obvious reasons. If things were going to happen, that was a team I was definitely looking at. It seems like they kind of filled their void and went ahead and made a deal, so it is what it is.”
We've known for a while now there was a possibility that Kane would be traded away from Chicago and with a full no-trade clause in his contract, he has control over his own fate. Now that the Rangers appear to have moved on from the idea of acquiring Kane, that's one less suitor for the 34-year-old winger. There are other suitors, however, and according to The Fourth Period, the NY Islanders just might be in the fold.
"The Islanders have expressed interest in the past, and even with salary cap flexibility, it’s unclear if they are still an option after acquiring Bo Horvat last week."
We now know Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello isn't afraid to make a splash after acquiring Horvat, but there's question as to whether or not the Islanders have the assets to make a deal happen, and if Lamoriello is willing to trade off any more youth of value they might have left.
Regardless, Kane has been on the record stating New York as a desirable location, and Long Island fits the mold. Kane also has expressed his lust for Mathew Barzal, a player he'd certainly thrive with, especially since Barzal and Horvat are such a good fit already. The problem is Kane's hip. The Rangers reportedly went in a different direction than Kane when they learned of Kane's hip injury. Following the report of his displeasure regarding the Tarasenko trade, Kane downplayed the severity of his hip injury, claiming he it "feels better than last year."
We know Lamoriello is going to evaluate his team over the next few days and determine his trade deadline direction. It's wait-and-see for now, but the Islanders just might not be done shopping yet. In 46 games this season, Kane has scored nine goals and 35 points.