Patrick Kane remains a fixture in the off-season rumor mill. The Chicago Blackhawks' rebuilding process combined with the 33-year-old winger's free-agent status next July continues to fuel media conjecture over his future.
Kane was the subject of several weeks of speculation in August linking him to the Edmonton Oilers. In late August, the Toronto Star's Damien Cox and Chris Johnston each dismissed “reports” claiming the Maple Leafs and Blackhawks had discussed the future Hall-of-Famer, pointing out the Leafs' lack of salary-cap space and tradeable assets.
Nevertheless, The Boston Globe's Matt Porter suggested the probability of Kane skating with an Atlantic Division club like the Leafs at some point this season. He also suggested the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings as possible trade partners.
With a full no-movement clause, Kane controls his fate for the coming season if he decides he wants to move on. So far, he's given no indication of his intentions.
The only word is from Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson, who claims neither Kane nor Jonathan Toews has approached him with trade requests. According to the Chicago Sun-Times' Ben Pope, the pair are “excited to get to training camp and see how the season plays out”.
That means trading Kane (if it happens at all) likely takes place closer to the 2023 trade deadline than the start of the coming season. His $10.5-million salary-cap hit will also be difficult to move unless the Blackhawks retain half. Even then, an interested party could attempt to get a third team involved to spread the remaining cap hit around.