Patrick Kane leaves Blackhawks’ trip as framework is built for trade to Rangers

Kane flew from San Jose to Chicago on Saturday as the Rangers began clearing salary-cap space to make the move financially viable.

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Patrick Kane skates with the puck.

Patrick Kane will likely be traded by the Blackhawks in the coming week.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Patrick Kane has left the Blackhawks’ West Coast trip as the team works to finalize the framework for a probable trade to the Rangers.

After being held out of practice Friday but remaining overnight in San Jose, Kane flew back to Chicago on Saturday to wait ‘‘until the situation rectifies itself either way,’’ coach Luke Richardson said. He obviously was scratched for the Hawks’ game against the Sharks.

There are still hurdles to cross. Kane hasn’t officially waived his no-trade clause, for one thing, despite evidently indicating the Rangers are his top choice if he does. Kane’s agent, Pat Brisson, described this as a ‘‘period of reflection’’ for Kane in a statement to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The framework of the trade isn’t fully complete, either, because of the complexity of the Rangers’ salary-cap situation. It’s so complex that their deal for Vladimir Tarasenko this month initially had Kane (and the rest of the league) convinced they were out of the running for him.

Nonetheless, the Rangers began the process of clearing more space Saturday, putting Jake Leschyshyn on waivers and trading Vitali Kravtsov. Both players had been held out of the last two games. Kravtsov, the ninth overall pick in 2018 now trending toward bust territory, originally was presumed to be part of the Kane trade framework but instead is headed to the Canucks for a minor-league forward and a seventh-round pick.

The Rangers still will have to get the Hawks to retain 50% of Kane’s cap hit, use a third-party team to retain another 25%, potentially include an additional contract in the trade and also potentially wait until closer to the trade deadline Friday to make all the numbers work.

An injury to defenseman Ryan Lindgren in the Rangers’ loss Saturday to the Capitals might make the equation easier if it proves severe enough to warrant him going on long-term injured reserve. Rangers reporters saw Lindgren in a sling after the game.

When all is said and done, however, it appears Kane likely will land in New York.

The Rangers have been his preferred trade destination all along, thanks to their proximity to his family in Buffalo, New York, his friendship with Rangers wing Artemi Panarin and the resources, prestige and existing talent of the franchise.

On the other hand, the Hawks’ return might be underwhelming. General manager Kyle Davidson has been forced to operate with very little leverage in these negotiations, given the lack of alternatives. It doesn’t seem top Rangers prospect Brennan Othmann or their remaining first-round pick — the other one they originally owned having been traded for Tarasenko — will be included.

Zac Jones, an offensive defenseman among the Rangers’ second tier of prospects, might be part of the deal. Jones, 22, is undersized at 5-10 and 178 pounds, but he has been very productive in the American Hockey League and has appeared in a handful of NHL games in the last three seasons.

The Hawks and Rangers also will have to sort out paying the third-party team that retains 25% of Kane’s cap hit. The Wild provided a similar service to the Maple Leafs and Blues in the Ryan O’Reilly trade this month and received a fourth-round pick for doing so.

No matter what the details turn out to be, however, this is a blockbuster that will shake the NHL, elevate the Rangers to major Stanley Cup contenders and mark the end of an era of hockey in Chicago. Kane ranks second in Hawks history with 1,225 points and third with 1,161 games played.

Kane’s epic performance Wednesday against the Stars, scoring twice to lead the Hawks’ comeback, was probably his last game with the team. But anything is possible this summer, given that he is a pending unrestricted free agent.

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