New Jersey Devils: Patrick Kane is perfect fit amid trade rumors


Today the NHL rumor mill is being flooded with speculation on the possibility of the Chicago Blackhawks actually dealing their troubled star Patrick Kane.

With the Blackhawks players set to report to camp later on in September, general manager Stan Bowman certainly has his hands tied when it comes to number 88.

Due to the recent charges pressed against Kane, everything regarding his future is obviously in limbo. If he is eventually found guilty and charged with a crime, Gary Bettman might have no choice but to suspend Kane indefinitely, similar to what happened to Kings defenseman Slava Voynov less than a year ago.

However, there’s still an off-chance that Bettman let’s Kane off the hook, similarly to how he handled the case of Colorado Avalanche net-minder Semyon Varlamov after he was charged with domestic violence back in 2013.

If that’s the case, and Patrick Kane is still allowed to play in the NHL, the Hawks might still be inclined to part ways with their $84 million investment, which, oh by the way, is set to kick in this season.

Kane has made a mockery of himself in the public eye numerous times, and this might just be the final straw between him and the Blackhawks.

Interestingly enough, Kane is so talented that this latest incident hasn’t stopped teams from contacting Bowman in an attempt to acquire his services. As a matter of fact, according to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times, as many as five teams have contacted the Blackhawks about Patrick Kane.

"“At least five teams contacted the Hawks once the Buffalo News first reported the investigation — which involves Kane and a woman at his Hamburg home — and said they’d be willing trade partners should the Hawks decide to cut ties with their superstar winger, according to a league source. The 26-year-old is entering the first year of a record-setting eight-year, $84-million contract.”"

Whether or not the New Jersey Devils remain to be seen as one these five teams, I think newly appointed general manager Ray Shero would be wise to contact the Blackhawks about Patrick Kane.

For starters, I’m a big believer in a change of scenery benefiting a troubled star, and I think the new management scheme and the new coaching staff put in place over in Newark can actually keep Patrick Kane in line. John Hynes might be one of the youngest coaches in the NHL, but he certainly commands a great deal of respect from his players and he knows when to draw the line. Also, both Hynes and Shero are very high on the United States National Development Program, an organization that both Hynes and Patrick Kane were both a significant part of back when Hynes coached Kane there from 2004-2006.

Interestingly enough, Patrick Kane was actually quoted by John O’Boyle of NJ Advanced Media when he texted Hynes to congratulate him when he was awarded the head coaching job of the Devils back in June.

From a financial standpoint, the Devils rank first in the entire league with the most available cap space to date, currently sitting with a surplus of $14,016,668 to work with as we approach the regular season, which means the Devils are one of the few teams that can afford to take on Kane’s average annual cap hit of $10.5 million through 2023.

Lastly, the Devils are in dire need of a top-six forward that can play alongside Kyle Palmieri and Mike Cammalleri as we near the start of the 2015-16 season, and Patrick Kane can provide them just that. Let’s not forget that despite all the off-ice antics, Patrick Kane is still a 26-year old super-star with a world of talent. He’s helped Chicago to three Stanley Cup Championships and has compiled a total of 557 points over the first eight years of his young career.

His career 55.3 Corsi for at even strength percentage and his career 55.0 fenwick at even strength percentage would match up perfectly with the speedy puck possessive system that John Hynes wants to introduce in New Jersey.

Now normally the price to acquire a player of Patrick Kane’s magnitude would be incredibly high, but given the circumstances, Stan Bowman might be looking to deal him for dirt cheap. My guess is that the Devils can build a moderate package that features John Quenneville, the nephew of Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville as well as some future draft picks to offer up to Chicago.

Interestingly enough, Shero and Bowman almost linked up earlier in the off-season in exchange for Brandon Saad, however Chicago elected to trade him to Columbus instead.

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