Rangers’ salary-cap situation delaying Patrick Kane trade timeline

The Rangers will slowly accumulate more cap space with each passing day, but acquiring Kane likely won’t be possible until at least Wednesday and maybe not until deadline day Friday.

SHARE Rangers’ salary-cap situation delaying Patrick Kane trade timeline
Patrick Kane’s likely trade to the Rangers will be held up by salary cap considerations.

Patrick Kane’s likely trade to the Rangers will be held up by salary cap considerations.

Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

SAN JOSE, Calif. — All eyes around the NHL are focused on the Rangers’ salary-cap situation while waiting for the seemingly inevitable Patrick Kane trade.

Kane presumably will miss the Blackhawks’ game Monday against the Ducks as he remains in Chicago, having traveled back Saturday before the Hawks’ win over the Sharks. It was just the ninth game since 2007 and the first since 2015 in which the Hawks’ lineup included neither Kane nor Jonathan Toews.

But even with Kane away from the team — which did not practice Sunday — it appears it will take some time before a trade becomes official.

That’s because the Rangers are working with tiny margins to make Kane fit under the cap, even with 50% salary retention by the Hawks and 25% by a third-party team.

Jake Leschyshyn cleared waivers Sunday, allowing the Rangers to assign him and his $766,667 cap hit to Hartford of the AHL. 

But the collective-bargaining agreement requires teams to field a full 20-man roster under the cap whenever possible. So the Rangers had to call up Ryan Carpenter (yes, the former Hawks forward) and his $750,000 cap hit for their game Sunday against the Kings.

The relevance of that roughly $17,000 savings exemplifies how tight the situation is. The Rangers will very slowly accumulate more space with each passing day.

It remains unclear whether an additional factor — the injury Saturday to Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren — will affect matters. Rangers coach Gerard Gallant told reporters Sunday he didn’t think Lindgren’s injury was “serious,” which is the opposite prognosis to what would’ve made a Kane trade potentially easier.

As such, all parties will continue to wait. It’s likely the trade won’t go through until at least Wednesday, TSN reported, and it’s possible it won’t until right before the NHL trade deadline Friday.

Note: The Hawks activated goalie Alex Stalock off injured reserve Sunday and sent Jaxson Stauber back to Rockford. Stalock, having recovered from ocular dysfunction, is expected to start a game on this trip.

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