The NHL's trade deadline is Friday, but no team is likely to make a bigger splash than the New York Rangers did by acquiring former Hart Trophy winner and future Hall of Famer Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks. He will make his Blueshirts debut tonight at what should be an electric Madison Square Garden against the Ottawa Senators. Kane is a +165 fifth favorite among all players to score a goal at Caesars Sportsbook.
New York got Kane awfully cheap, sending a conditional 2023 second-round pick and a 2025 fourth-rounder to Chicago for one of the five best American players in league history. The 2023 second-round pick will become a first-rounder if the Rangers make the Eastern Conference finals. However, that first-round pick would be in 2024 or 2025.
Why such a low price? Kane had a full no-movement clause in his contract, and only wanted to play for the Rangers if moved – he's from Buffalo and his parents still live in western New York – and is a free agent after the season. He had all the leverage over the Blackhawks and would have had no problem staying in Chicago, where he hoped to retire. The chance to win a fourth Stanley Cup and the first for the Rangers since 1994 was too good to pass up.
New York only got a slight boost to win the Cup at Caesars, now +1000. The Eastern Conference is simply absurd at the top with Boston (+400 favorite to win Cup), Carolina (+650), Toronto (+1000), Tampa Bay (+1200) and New Jersey (+1400) all packed with talent. The West is mostly dominated by Colorado (+550), and has a massive dropoff after the Avs.
At 34, Kane is not an MVP-caliber player any longer but still a good one, with 16 goals and 29 assists in 54 games on a bad team. Kane seemed energized of late about a possible trade. He put together a four-game points streak in which he totaled 10 points (7G, 3A). He hadn't played since Feb. 22, as the Blackhawks held him out due to the likely trade and to avoid injury.
Coach Gerard Gallant said Kane will start on a line with his friend Artemi Panarin, centered by Vincent Trocheck. Panarin and Kane played two seasons together for the Blackhawks (2015-17). Panarin won the Calder Trophy during that stretch and Kane his MVP.
Other Kane props at DraftKings include: over/under 0.5 points (over -205 favorite), O/U 0.5 power-play points (under -175 favorite), O/U 0.5 assists (under -130 favorite) and O/U 2.5 shots (over -180 favorite).
New York is playing the second of a back-to-back after rallying for a 3-2 overtime win in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Because Igor Shesterkin started that game, it should be Jaroslav Halak (8-7-2, 2.72 GAA, .902 SV in net against Ottawa. Defenseman K'Andre Miller remains out while he serves a suspension and fellow blueliner Ryan Lindgren is questionable with an upper-body injury. He didn't play Wednesday.
Ottawa might debut a trade acquisition tonight as well. The Senators landed excellent defenseman Jakob Chychrun from Arizona on Wednesday in exchange for a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 second-round pick (via the Capitals) and a second-round pick in 2026. It's unclear if Chychrun will be ready to play after the Coyotes scratched him for the last eight games.
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