Blackhawks Jonathan Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane Downplay Rumors – But Is A Trade The Inevitable Anyway?
On the first day of training on Thursday, Kane and Toews both addressed the media.
“Just a lot of noise and a lot of rumors,” Kane said. “I don’t think there was too much to anything.”
Toews said: “A lot of change overall by the organization, but it’s nice to get settled in. There’s no more talk. You just get to go out and play and start moving forward.”
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In the offseason, the Blackhawks made a major shakeup to its core and appear committed to a full rebuild.
It traded star winger Alex DeBrincat to Ottawa Senators for a package that included the 7th overall pick in the 2022 draft.
It also traded 21-year-old Kirby Dach, who was selected third overall in 2019, for a first and third-round pick in 2022.
Additionally, the Blackhawks let Dylan Strome walk in unrestricted free agency.
The moves indicate that both Toews and Kane could be next.
While it may not happen in the coming weeks as the Blackhawks get set for the regular season, there’s a chance it happens closer to the trade deadline, which is on February 20.
This is assuming that the Blackhawks aren’t in a playoff position as expected.
But two things make a trade complicated.
First, keep in mind both Toews and Kane have one year left with $10.5 million cap hits.
So, the Blackhawks would have to find a team near the trade deadline that would be able to absorb it.
The Blackhawks can also retain a portion of each player’s salary – up to 50%.
But the biggest issue is both have full no move clauses (NMC).
That means Kane and Toews control their trade destinations.
Also, both can refuse to waive their NMCs period and stay pat with the Blackhawks for the remainder of the regular season.
But Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson may be calling both players to see where they want to be traded if the Blackhawks do in fact endure a lot of losing this season.
“As far as any player movement, we’re not anywhere near that point. We’re focused on Jonathan and Patrick being here and being part of the team and competing right from the opening day,” Davidson told the media this week.
But a trade does seem like the inevitable – whether it happens in February or sooner.
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