Feb 6, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Jake Leschyshyn (15) shoves Calgary Flames right wing Tyler Toffoli (73) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 6, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers center Jake Leschyshyn (15) shoves Calgary Flames right wing Tyler Toffoli (73) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Math Getting Complicated On Kane Deal

It appears there’s a high likelihood at this stage, that Patrick Kane will be a New York Ranger by this time next week, when the NHL Trade Deadline passes – 3:00pm Eastern, on Friday March 3rd.  What isn’t so clear yet is how that’s going to be accomplished.

If the plan is to trade Vitali Kravtsov as part of the deal, then that will probably happen next Friday to avoid accruing additional remaining cost on Patrick Kane ahead of the deadline.  Many of us expected to see at least Jake Leschyshyn on waivers today, but this proved not to be the case.  It’s still possible that he gets dealt, or is placed on waivers tomorrow, leaving the Rangers with the narrowest of windows to accomplish the Kane trade next Friday.

Should tomorrow pass without either Leschyshyn or Kravtsov being waived or dealt, then things get more complicated.

Perhaps the next simplest way to free up more space would be to waive Ben Harpur and send him down as well.  They run the risk of losing Harpur to another team – especially at this time of year, so it’s not the favored method for sure.  While Harpur was pushed out of the line-up by the acquisition of Mikkola, he would easily be the first option should the Rangers run into injury problems in the closing games of the season, as well as in the playoffs.

Another option would be to try and trade a player off the roster.  Perhaps the most obvious option here would be to move the recently acquired Tyler Motte and his $1.35M salary.  It may seem counter-intuitive to move a player that the Rangers so recently wanted and acquired, but with Kane perhaps now a more realistic option, then perhaps it’s worth reconsidering.  Chicago does have a couple of bottom six forwards that might be worth considering in Taylor Raddysh and Sam Lafferty who both cost less than Motte’s salary. Before we get there though, they could also gain some flexibility by sending Braden Schneider down, even if it’s only a paper transaction.  As a waiver-exempt player, Schneider can be reassigned without risk, saving around $5K a day in Cap space. With the Rangers off Monday and Tuesday, there’s an option to save around $10K and not have Schneider miss any game time.

While a Kane acquisition seems to be favored by many, there’s still some work to do, and the path to that point is still not completely clear, even while it’s still possible.

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