Could the Colorado Avalanche Trade for Patrick Kane?


For all of you die-hard Blackhawks fans, it may take a lot for you to get through this article.  Not just because of the name mentioned in the title, but because of the symbolism behind it.  This isn’t in any way an attack on the organization or anything against Patrick Kane.  What this article represents is a choice, or better yet, something fans have been asking for; a direction.

The past four years have been difficult for a fan base that has come to expect so much in the last decade.  The Chicago Blackhawks took the sport by storm and created a frenzy in the city of Chicago.  We all know about the championships, the parades, and the rings.  But just like that, those moments seem so far away.  Two first round exists, missing the playoffs, and now the possibility of missing the playoffs again is imminent.

The Blackhawks have tried everything to keep this train moving, but nothing has worked.  They have tried bringing in new players and coaches, and have parted ways with people that were the heart and soul of the team.  What’s left is what the front office talked about for years, the core and nothing more.

The Chicago Blackhawks franchise has an opportunity right now to recreate what they had in 2008.  They had a young, energetic team who was fun to watch and on the verge of NHL history.  But on the tail end of a dynasty, do the Hawks have the guts to announce a true rebuild, starting with trading Patrick Kane?

Kane is 30 years old and is on pace to score over 100 points this season.  With no signs of slowing down and a clean bill of health, Kane is a valuable asset to every NHL team in the league.  The question is if any of those teams could put together a package large enough to persuade Chicago to deal their franchise player.

Here’s something that could work.

Colorado Avalanche

The first thing you’re probably thinking is “why would the Blackhawks trade Kane in the division?”  The answer is that Colorado could offer the best package.  The Avs currently have Ottawa’s first round pick that is unprotected.  Ottawa is one of the worst teams in the league so there is a chance they could be in the running for a lottery pick at the end of the season.  They also have a premier defensive prospect in Cale Makar, the 4th overall pick in the 2017 Draft.

To Avalanche fans, a trade involving the Ottawa pick and Makar may seem like a lot, but they would be getting a top 5 player in return.  The Pepsi Center would be sold out every night to watch Patrick Kane in the mile high city for the next four years.  But are the Avs ready to contend for a cup?  With Nathan MacKinnon cost-controlled at six million the next four years and a blossoming Mikko Rantanen, Kane would catapult the Avs past the first round of the playoffs.  Will losing out on a generational talent like Hughes and a future top defenseman like Makar hurt?  Absolutely.  But at what point do you stop building and simply go for it?

Here’s what I propose could be a deal that wows the Blackhawks:

Colorado receives:

Patrick Kane, Erik Gustafsson, & 2019 4th

Chicago receives:  OTT 2019 1st (only #1 or #2), Cale Makar, & Tyson Barrie

Now, the only way Chicago moves Kane is if they get elite, blue chip prospects back.  The deal starts with the Ottawa pick and the Hawks need to know that they have landed either Jack Hughes or Kappo Kakko.  The addition of Cale Makar further bolsters the Hawks blue line, giving them the ability to deal one of their top defensive prospects for a top forward.  Taking on Tyson Barrie for one year helps make the money work in exchange for Erik Gustafsson who could be just as effective on the powerplay and just as effective on defense…

Is it an overpay for Colorado?  Probably, but doesn’t it have to be?  It’s not often that you have the opportunity to trade for the best American born hockey player who is a lock for the Hall of Fame with three cups under his belt at 30 years old.

And for the Blackhawks, you hopefully get the next Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith.  You have players like Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome to build around too.  By the time some of these top prospects are ready, they will be in their mid-twenties ready to win.  Sure it will be a hard couple of years, but Chicago fans have seen this kind of rebuild work.  The Bears just made a huge trade for a franchise player and it has turned their franchise around.  The Cubs won a world series by building their team from the ground up.  The White Sox are on their way to trying the same thing.

And if you trade Patrick Kane, you might as well sell off Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, and Brandon Saad.  If Chicago can accumulate top draft picks and prospects, they will have one of the best farm systems in the league almost overnight.  They will continue to be bad for a couple more seasons and pick in the top 5 or top 10.  Those players will be developed by Jeremy Colliton, a very young coach with a knack of getting the most out of young players.

Many of you will believe that the Hawks will never go through with trading their star player which may be true.  It’s hard to imagine the United Center full of Kane jerseys with #88 playing 1,000 miles away for another team.  It’s also difficult to imagine the team that stuck with Kane through difficult times part with the star that has given them so much.  But where are the Blackhawks really going?  Can they squeeze one more Stanley Cup out of this core?  With every year that passes, it gets harder and harder to say yes.

It just feels like one of those corny moments where if you love something, you should set it free.  Let’s let Patrick Kane ride off into the sunset and watch him thrive in the playoffs where he deserves to be, not playing golf.  Let’s go to sleep at night knowing that in two years, we’ll have Jack Hughes playing first line center.  These difficult decisions differentiate the franchises that sustain success and the ones that are a flash in the pan.  And I’m pretty sure Chicago doesn’t want to wait another 50 years to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup again.

Leave a Reply