There were some mild rumors at the last NHL trade deadline that Patrick Kane might become a member of the Colorado Avalanche. It never happened, but here come those rumors again. As Elliotte Friedman said on his “32 Thoughts” podcast yesterday:
“Last year Colorado was one of the teams that inquired about Patrick Kane before the trade deadline to see if he was available. If, and I stress this is an if, if Patrick Kane is available I can see Colorado making another try for him.”
Patrick Kane has one year left on a contract with Chicago that carries a $10.5 million cap hit. The Avalanche have just over a little more than $15 million of cap space right now, with pending UFAs such as Nazem Kadri, Josh Manson and Andre Burakovsky.
Burakovsky is almost sure to go, but the questions of possible returns by Kadri and Manson are hovering over the defending Stanley Cup champs, with 37 hours to go until the NHL free-agent market opens.
The Blackhawks are in a fierce sell-off mode, and some reports have said Kane will waive his no-trade clause to go to a contender. Some believe he most wants to go to the New York Rangers, to play again with old friend Artemi Panarin. But why not the Avalanche too? I would have a hard time believing Kane wouldn’t mind coming to a team like Colorado.
But what about clearing cap space for his big contract? I would expect Sam Girard and J.T. Compher to be candidates to go in such a trade. That would clear $8.5 million off the cap if they went. New GM Chris MacFarland is a whiz with math, so I’m sure he could figure out how to make the numbers work
Personally, I’d love to see Patrick Kane on this team. Can you imagine the dangles with him, Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar on the power play?
Yet, old Avalanche fans will remember the Paul Kariya-Teemu Selanne situation in 2003-04, when the two stars took discounts to come play here, only to have the season become kind of a mini-disaster (they had the league’s best record in February and won a playoff round, but the season just didn’t go the way everybody thought it would, with all that star power).
It hasn’t even been a couple weeks since the Cup celebration, yet we almost be seeing an Avalanche team in two days that: Saw its starting goalie go, may see its No. 2 center go, might see a tough D-man (Manson) go, likely will lose a 61-point scorer (Burakovsky), might lose savvy veterans such as Jack Johnson and Darren Helm.
That’s what happens when you win it all. Everybody wants to get their share come contract time. It’s natural. It’s normal. But it doesn’t make it any easier for fans of those guys to see them just go away after all the joy they’ve just brought them.
Maybe a Patrick Kane would soothe some of that hurt though?
Gonna be an interesting couple of days around here.