The impending All-Star break this week  is a harginer of another big NHL date looming on the calendar-the annual trade deadline.  This year’s March 3rd deadline weighs especially heavy on Blackhawks’ GM Kyle Davidson because the time probably has come to say goodbye to Blackhawk legends Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

The market is heating up for Jonathan Toews.

Although he’s 34 and slowing down a bit, there’s still a large market for a Jonathan Toews’ trade and with 14 goals and an equal number of assists in 45 games this season, Toews is still a viable candidate as a second-line center.  The future Hall of Famer still carries a lot of weight with trade possibilities and if he decides to waive his No Movement Clause (NMC) then there are a number of potential playoff teams waiting in the wings to see about trade possibilities with the Blackhawks:

Winnipeg Jets: The Jets are an obvious trade possibility destination for Toews as Winnipeg is in top form in the Central Division and baring any late season collapse, they will make it to the Stanley Cup playoffs (they missed last season.)  This trade also makes sense given the fact that Jonathan Toews is a Winnipeg native and possibly finishing out his career in front of a hometown crowd makes sense both on the ice and at the ticket gates.

Colorado Avalanche: The Av’s are fighting injuries on a daily basis and they could use a replacement for Nazeem Kadri who headed to Calgary in the off-season.

Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes traded away Vincent Trocheck to the Rangers and as they eye a deep run in the posteason they could use an experienced centerman like Jonathan Toews.  Again, bringing in a future Hall of Famer wouldn’t hurt the roster or ticket sales for that matter.

Patrick Kane’s time in Chicago has probably come to an end.

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and that’s probably true as Patrick Kane is being eyed as a prime rental candidate for multipe teams heading or hoping to head to the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Kane is still one of the Blackhawks’ leading point producers ( nine goals, 25 assists) in another rebuild season.  Patrick Kane, along with Jonathan Toews, are perfect rental candidates and Kane would also have to waive his No Movement Clause in order to be traded.  One of the top candidates for Kane’s service seems to be the Edmonton Oilers.

Even though the Oilers possess greats such as Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman, the roster drops off considerably after their super stars (Evander Kane is just coming back from a wrist injury.)  Kane would provide additional firepower when needed and his defensive skills as a penalty killer are also in great demand.  Of course, other teams could already be calling on the Blackhawk front office seeking Kane’s services and the next few weeks will see how this scenario unfolds.

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 15: Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks in action against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on October 15, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. New Jersey Devils defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in OT. (Photo by Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)

What could the Blackhawks be after by trading Toews and Kane?

The answer to that could be found in one simple phrase: draft picks.  Picking up top future Hall of Famers at the prime of their careers could and should carry a hefty price and not necessarily salary cap prices.  The cost for the Oilers to get Patrick Kane should be a first round draft pick and with the young talent Edmonton currently has, the can afford that type of trade.  In the case of Jonathan Toews, the other trade partners have to weight a current playoff run to future dividends from a draft pick this summer.  The Blackhawks may too be willing to gamble by trading away some local heroes in order to quickly re-stock this organization with multiple first or second round draft picks for the near future.

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