Patrick Kane trade chatter continues as hockey world awaits clarity

The Maple Leafs removed themselves as potential Kane suitors, but the Stars and Golden Knights are still in play. Even Alex DeBrincat is “excited to see” if Kane can “find a new home.” But nothing is official or cemented yet.

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Patrick Kane skates with the puck.

Patrick Kane hasn’t officially decided if and where he’s willing to be traded, but the whole league is talking about anyway.

Claus Andersen/Getty Images

OTTAWA, Ontario — Senators forward Alex DeBrincat knows Blackhawks star Patrick Kane very well. And he doesn’t need to navigate politics and choose words carefully quite like Kane does right now.

So while everyone waits for Kane to decide if — and then where — he’s willing to be traded, DeBrincat’s comments about the situation Thursday were insightful and eye-opening.

‘‘All things considered, it’s been tough for him,’’ said DeBrincat, whom the Hawks traded to the Senators last offseason. ‘‘A lot of his buddies got moved out last year, and he has been going through a little bit of the injury stuff.

‘‘I can’t say he probably wants to be in a rebuild right now — you guys can ask him that — [because] he’s so competitive. Being with him for so long, he’s a guy that wants to win every night. . . . [I’m] excited to see if he can find a new home and get comfortable there. That’s exciting for everyone in the league to watch.’’

But Kane’s slow approach cost him another possible suitor Friday. The Maple Leafs removed themselves from the conversation — just like the Rangers did last week — by executing a blockbuster trade for former Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly.

Teams such as the Golden Knights and Stars still make sense, however, in terms of need, suitability and assets to make a deal. The Knights love splashy acquisitions and boast plentiful short-term salary-cap space with captain Mark Stone ($9.5 million) on long-term injured reserve. The Stars have been looking for a scoring wing to put with second-line center Tyler Seguin.

Kane didn’t have a point in his last four games entering play Friday against the Senators, suggesting the decision might be weighing on him. But he insisted otherwise, then backed up that claim by scoring two goals in the Hawks’ 4-3 overtime victory.

‘‘Maybe subconsciously [it’s affecting me], but I don’t think it’s anything I think about on the ice,’’ he said. ‘‘[I’m] trying to play well and [not] really think about that other stuff.’’

Toews skates

Captain Jonathan Toews has recovered from his illness enough to get back on the ice the last few days in Chicago, skating alongside injured goalie Alex Stalock. Still, Friday marked the sixth consecutive game he had missed.

‘‘That’s the first step in the progression,’’ coach Luke Richardson said. ‘‘We’ll get home and we’ll have a chance to talk to him face-to-face [Saturday] and see how he’s feeling.’’

Guttman debuts

Shortly after an injury-filled loss Tuesday to the Canadiens, the Hawks called Rockford forward Cole Guttman and told him he would be called up Wednesday.

Guttman, in turn, called his parents in Encino, California, to inform them — and they acted quickly.

‘‘I wasn’t sure if I was playing, but they just took the chance and hopped on the next flight 30 minutes later [to Toronto],’’ he said. ‘‘It was really nice of them.’’

Guttman replaced injured MacKenzie Entwistle (wrist) in the Hawks’ lineup against the Leafs while his parents — fresh off their red-eye flight — and his brother watched at Scotiabank Arena.

Centering the second line between Tyler Johnson and Taylor Raddysh during five-on-five play — but not yet receiving special-teams duties — Guttman logged 12 minutes, 9 seconds of ice time. He remained in that role Friday against the Senators.

He’s more than just a short-term fill-in, too. The Hawks think the scrappy 23-year-old rookie out of the University of Denver has an NHL future. Richardson called him a ‘‘smart player’’ who can handle ‘‘pretty much any situation.’’

Guttman’s intelligence, adaptability, versatility and willingness to drive to the net have stood out this season in Rockford, where he has 30 points in 39 games.

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