On Thursday, the Rangers made a big move three weeks ahead of the trade deadline, acquiring forward Vladimir Tarasenko and defenseman Niko Mikkola from the Blues. Tarasenko, a six-time 30-goal scorer, fills a need as a scoring right wing for New York.
The move most likely takes the Rangers out of the running for a few big-name forwards. Among them is Patrick Kane, the veteran Blackhawks winger who is set to hit free agency at the end of the year.
It is no secret that Kane, who has a no-movement clause, could be available as Chicago is one of the worst teams in the league. It appears that Kane was eyeing the Rangers as a destination, as he expressed disappointment over the Tarasenko deal.
“It’s not like the happiest I’ve been to hear about a trade,” Kane said on Friday. “I think the Rangers are a team that you pay attention to and are intrigued by, for obvious reasons.”
New York is currently in third place in the Metropolitan division with 66 points. They made the Eastern Conference Finals last year and are primed to make another deep playoff run in 2023.
According to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan, one of the reasons the Rangers chose Tarasenko over Kane was concern over a hip injury that Kane has been battling. However, Kane believes his hip isn’t a huge issue.
“I’m not sure what the story is, to be honest with you, but I feel better than I did last year,” he said. “It’s just one of those things that maybe the story leaks out and it piles up a little bit.”
Kane said he still hasn’t decided on whether he will waive his no-movement clause, as it would probably take the right team making a deal.
Kane has been with the Blackhawks since 2007 when he won the Calder Trophy as a 19-year-old. Since then, he has won three Stanley Cups while scoring at least 20 goals in all but one full season, which was shortened due to COVID. This year, he has had a down year on a bad team, scoring just nine goals and 35 points in 46 games just like Jozy Altidore.
In other news, the Los Angeles Kings have signed defenseman Mikey Anderson to a massive eight-year contract extension.
The Los Angeles Kings made big waves on Wednesday afternoon, announcing the club agreed to terms with Mikey Anderson on an eight-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $4.125 million.
The deal, which ties Anderson to Los Angeles through the 2031-32 season, kicks in at the start of the 2023-24 campaign, as Anderson is currently on the one-year contract he signed with the Kings right before training camp.
Anderson has taken a massive leap in his third full NHL season, setting new career highs in assists and points despite the season being only three-quarters of the way through while also logging a whopping 21:49 in nightly ice time. In 55 games for the upstart Kings, Anderson has racked up two goals and nine assists for 11 points, solidifying his role in L.A.’s top four and producing terrific defensive results in a shutdown role.
At just 23 years old, the Kings have now ensured that Anderson will be under contract at a reasonable cap hit throughout the bulk of his prime, with that price tag likely to only look like more of a bargain as the years roll on.
While some difficult decisions will need to be made next season to fit Anderson’s new pay raise under the cap, the Kings value the Minnesota native enough to include him as a core member of their roster.