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Screen Shots: Patrick Kane, P.K. Subban and Dallas' RFA Future

Adam Proteau breaks down Patrick Kane's future, where P.K. Subban could end up and what's next for Stars GM Jim Nill after signing Jake Oettinger.
Jake Oettinger and Patrick Kane

Welcome to another edition of Screen Shots. Regular readers know this space is used to discuss a few different hockey topics in relatively short order. As always, we’ll get right down to it.

– Although rumors swirl that Chicago Blackhawks star winger Patrick Kane has been targeted by the Edmonton Oilers, we’re skeptical such a trade could take place. For one thing, offense is not the issue for the Oilers; they’ve got superstars Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid to generate goals. But the bigger issue is what Edmonton could offer to Hawks GM Kyle Davidson to get a trade done.

Some have suggested a deal for Kane would be centered around forward Jesse Puljujarvi. Sorry, but with due respect to Puljujarvi, that’s not nearly enough, even if you include a first and second-round draft pick to go to Chicago. Unless something catastrophic happens to another franchise that wants to rebuild, Kane will be the top talent available this season. The Hawks are going nowhere fast in 2022-23, so they’re under no pressure to move Kane before the season begins.

What’s more likely is Davidson waits until the trade deadline to deal Kane (and captain Jonathan Toews). Davidson has to hit a home run with a Kane trade, and Puljujarvi is not at an elite-enough level to make it worthwhile for Chicago. The Blackhawks can bide their time, take a bunch of losses, and see what the hockey gods make available to them late in the season. By that time, it’s a virtual certainty Davidson will get more than a disappointing high draft pick from six years ago.

– With Phil Kessel off the unrestricted free agent list this summer, the biggest marquee name left is former Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban. We’ve written before that the Los Angeles Kings would be a good fit for the 33-year-old blueliner, but a conversation we had with an NHL player agent brought up a couple of Central Division teams that could be intrigued by Subban.

The first team is the Minnesota Wild, who just cleared out a roster spot with the dealing of veteran Dmitry Kulikov to Anaheim. Minnesota GM Bill Guerin is in win-now mode, and he’s got more than $5.7 million in salary cap space to play with, which is more than enough to sign Subban (who doesn’t have much, if any leverage in contract negotiations) and still have a couple million to use during the season. The Wild’s defense corps is on the older side, and Subban could help out with offense while not being relied on to dominate in his own zone.

The other team the player agent mentioned as a possible destination for Subban is the Winnipeg Jets. Winnipeg has a fairly full defense corps at the moment, but they also have more than $6.2 million in cap space, and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is under the gun to get the Jets back in the post-season. Like the Wild, the Jets have to win now, and in a limited role, Subban could help in that regard.

– Finally, news broke Thursday afternoon that the Dallas Stars and No. 1 goalie Jake Oettinger had agreed to a contract extension for the next three years, at $4 million per season. That’s a deal that makes sense for both sides: for the cap-strapped Stars – who still have restricted free agent Jason Robertson to sign to a new deal – getting the 23-year-old Oettinger under contract at a relative bargain is a big win for GM Jim Nill; and Oettinger gets a healthy raise on the $925,000 cap hit he’s had in the past three seasons.

Nill’s task now is to get Robertson to agree to a team-friendly, probably short-term contract, and deal with his cap concerns down the line. Nill wouldn’t be the first GM to kick the can down the road, but Oettinger’s contract helps him do that. In other words, it’s a win-win deal for the team and the player.

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