The moment Alex DeBrincat was traded from the Blackhawks at the NHL draft in early July, Patrick Kane’s time with the organization felt numbered.
The assumption was his loyalty had finally hit a breaking point. He came out late last season and basically said, as long as DeBrincat was with the Blackhawks, he was satisfied to be there, rebuild or otherwise. Well, DeBrincat was all of a sudden gone, so Kane would soon follow, too, right?
All Kane had to do was give the word. Free agency had yet to open, so teams around the league had time to readjust their roster and salary-cap plans. But interest was never going to be the problem, and general manager Kyle Davidson sounded as if he was going to oblige with whatever Kane asked for.
But then Kane didn’t ask for anything. And time passed … and passed … and passed. And while nothing was said, that didn’t stop people from throwing everything against the wall. There didn’t seem to be a day that passed without a “Kane” trending on Twitter the past few months. You’d have to dig a bit deeper to figure out if it was Harry Kane, Evander Kane or Patrick Kane, but more often than not it was Patrick. There was everything from the vague rumors of “the Patrick Kane market heating up” to more specific ones about the actual teams he might head to.
Throughout it all, though, Kane continued to remain silent. Unlike