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If The Blackhawks Are In A Playoff Spot On Deadline Day Do You Want Them To Trade Patrick Kane

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I think this is a question we should be prepared to answer. I don't know how likely it is that the Blackhawks will be in a playoff spot on March 3rd. The Blackhawks put the "sus" in sustainable. This is not a roster designed to be competitive and sitting in a playoff spot, but here they are about 10% of the way through the schedule just sitting there in 3rd place in the Central Division. It's still very early, but one of my favorite stats is approaching...teams sitting in a playoff spot on Thanksgiving make the playoffs roughly 80% of the time since the 2004-05 lockout season. There are 10 more games between now and Thanksgiving by my count and if the Blackhawks grab 10-12 points from the possible 20 they'll be sitting in a playoff spot and the conversation becomes more serious. 

I am sure Davidson had a nice rebuild map laid out in a powerpoint for his bosses. It included hiring the right coach, being bad in 2022-23, trading anything not bolted to the floor at the deadline, drafting in the top 3, and then accumulating as many picks as possible in the 2023 draft that is supposedly one of the deepest in recent memory. And then...with his first move he got the right coach and fucked everything up

The team looks like a team. They play together. They know their assignments. They stand up for each other. They know how to play. It's a veteran team that is coming together and gelling. I don't think this start is a fluke. The things that make them successful are largely things that they should be able to bring to a game night in and night out. The Hawks play with tremendous effort. They have a very good forecheck. They have great detail to their game. Puck management has been better than it has been in years. They might not shoot the puck at a 13% clip all year, but they may not need to. It's not inconceivable that this team could be at least in striking distance of a wild card spot come March 3rd if they stay healthy. 

And if they are in a playoff position on that day...TOUGH decision for Davidson. I think there are things working against the Blackhawks getting a HAUL for Kane like they got for Hagel last year. Patrick Kane has a full NTC. You can't just trade him to the highest bidder. He might have a list that is one team long just like Claude Giroux did. Then, obviously, those teams after Kane will be picking towards the end of the first round anyways. And those teams, by nature of being really fucking good, already have spent up towards the cap. They might not be able to squeeze Kane in even if the Blackhawks retain 50% of his cap hit. It might take another team getting involved which would further dilute the compensation. If you look at teams with cap space, in good markets, with Cup aspirations that list is filled teams that don't have a ton of great prospects and have often times traded away draft picks already. 

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Let's say the compensation package ends up being

2023 1st round pick (30th overall)

2023 3rd round pick

Legitimate NHL prospect

That package isn't even as good as what they got for Debrincat, and people were PISSED at the return they got for him. That's assuming you nail the draft picks and that prospect(s) have an impact at the NHL level. Big time leaps of faith. 

I am not sure that getting that package back for Kane is worth surrendering a playoff chase (even if it falls short) and losing the right to negotiate an extension with him. This is quite the fucking pickle the Blackhawks are in if they keep this up. My gut says that they will be in the lottery, but they will need the lottery gods to smile on them if they want Bedard or Fantilli. 

The entire reason I was good with the Seth Jones trade was because I wanted the Blackhawks to get to a place where Toews and Kane could play meaningful hockey at the end of their career. Bowman and Colliton were never going to be capable of putting pieces or plans in place to make that happen. Luke Richardson already has. I think if the package is underwhelming and less than what they received for Hagel then you just ride into the sunset while offering extension after extension. 

89-13-88

11-19-90

24-27-23

That's not a bad top 9. Just saying.