Now that the trade season is underway the Golden Knights find themselves in a position to buy at the deadline. On Thursday, one of Vegas’ potential targets Vladimir Tarasenko came off the board in a deal with the New York Rangers. With 18 days remaining before the March 3rd deadline, the local team will move on and begin planning for the next marquee name. Could it be Sharks winger Timo Meier, Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly, Flyers wing James Van Riemsdyk or three-time Stanley Cup winner Patrick Kane? A move for any would dramatically help Vegas’ inconsistent offense. But there should be a ‘buyer’s beware’ mentality when discussing a deal for Kane. Sometimes, it’s best to look elsewhere.
It’s all health related. There’s an undercurrent of buzz around Patrick Kane, teams of interest, that worry about his health. We know that he missed some time not that long ago with that hip issue. Those things don’t magically disappear. I think that’s been something lingering with Patrick Kane perhaps in other seasons. What’s his health going to be like? If he aggravates that between now and March 3rd, are we 100% sure that he’s on the trade market? –Darren Dreger on TSN 1050 Toronto
If the Golden Knights were to acquire Patrick Kane, it’ll be a sign The Creator is once again all in. The Golden Knights owner loves superstars. However, in Kane’s case, it could be wiser to pass on the limping playmaker. It’s tough for many to gauge what the cost for Kane would be, or if he’s even a trade option. There’s no doubt the three-time champ would improve the Golden Knights’ chances at winning their first Stanley Cup. The question is, how much will his new team get out of Kane? He’s missed time this season and Sportsnet speculated Kane may need surgery in the near future.
There’s been a rumor that Pat Kane has been dealing with something. Some kind of nagging injury for some period of time. At some point he’s going to need a clean-up. I don’t know exactly what the procedure would be. –Elliotte Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast
Other clubs that have reportedly had an eye on Kane all have the same concerns. Before the New York Rangers traded for Tarasenko, there was mutual interest with Kane. The 2013 Conn Smythe winner publicly stated his disappointment in the Rangers’ decision to pursue Tarasenko. It’s possible New York played it safe and went with the healthier wing. The Golden Knights should head down that same path.
There have been reports of interested teams worrying about Kane’s nagging injury slowing him down, but he said he’s not thinking about that when he’s on the ice.
“That’s not really something for me to worry about. I just go about it the best I can.”
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 6, 2023
Perhaps, the cost for Kane is lower than it will be for Meier or O’Reilly but that doesn’t mean it’s a bargain. With Vegas’ history of devastating injuries, another target would likely be safer to rely on.
One of the teams I wonder about for O’Reilly is Vegas. O’Reilly is not a scorer like Stone is but he’s similar high IQ, great defensive player. He doesn’t have to play at a fastest pace but knows how to play. That’s Mark Stone. The fact that Vegas has kind of talked to St. Louis about some of their other guys, like Barbashev and Acciari. I wonder if that makes a lot of sense. –Friedman on 32 Thoughts Podcast
Sure, O’Reilly is a two-way center, but coach Bruce Cassidy would gladly open up a middle spot in the top six for the 2019 Conn Smythe award winner. The Blues captain has had health issues of his own this season but as Daily Faceoff notes, it could end up benefitting the Golden Knights.
His injury may actually enhance his value since teams know they’d been acquiring a well-rested player. This has not been O’Reilly’s best season. The entire Blues team has been inconsistent. But the Blues’ captain is a true competitor, still has plenty of game left and is the quintessential deadline add for a team looking to get over the hump. – Frank Seravalli on DailyFaceoff.com
Acquiring O’Reilly won’t address the Golden Knights’ middling offense, but it replaces Stone’s defense, grit, and leadership. Plus, it’s possible St. Louis ships a depth winger along with their captain. Kane may add flashy highlights, but the alternative targets could push Vegas into the second week of June.