Patrick Kane makes his debut as a New York Ranger


@nyrangers on Instagram

Zoe Poulis, Features Editor

After 15 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Patrick Kane has officially traded in his black and red jersey to join the New York Rangers. 

Kane’s emotional exit was one fans had been dreading for quite some time, as it signifies the end of an era for Chicago, which is in a period of rebuilding. Kane solidified his legacy in the NHL during his 16 years as a Blackhawk, from being drafted as the No. 1 overall pick at just 18 years old to bringing three Stanley Cups home to Chicago in only six years. There is no doubt that No. 88 will be raised to the rafters of the United Center once he decides to retire. It’s bittersweet, but it may have been the best move for all parties involved.  

Ahead of the NHL trade deadline, the Rangers made some big moves in hopes of putting themselves in an even better position for the upcoming postseason. Along with the Blackhawks legend, they acquired forward Vladimir Tarasenko, ex-captain of the St. Louis Blues, and defenseman Nikko Mikkola. These additions, combined with New York’s already solid roster, have created high expectations amongst analysts and spectators alike, who are referring to the Rangers as a “super team,” according to Bleacher Report.

Kane made his debut in blue and red against the Ottawa Senators on March 2, although he didn’t come out with the bang his fans were hoping for. The Rangers lost 5-3, and the right winger had no goals or assists in the game, leaving the ice with zero points after his 19:36 minutes of playing time. Nevertheless, New Yorkers were thrilled to see his number on a Rangers’ jersey. 

In the lineup with Kane were two of his former Chicago teammates, Artemi Panarin, who is currently leading the team in points, and Vincent Trocheck. It appears that the Rangers were counting on the chemistry they had in the past to work in their favor, but only one of New York’s three goals was scored by this line, with assists coming from Panarin and Trocheck. While there is definitely potential with this pairing, it may take some time for Kane to adjust, which can only be expected after spending his entire career with one team.

This may seem like an underwhelming debut, but it does not necessarily come as a surprise. Although Kane is undeniably talented, it is evident that the 34-year-old is nearing the end of his career (most hockey players retire in their 30s). Still, he is the best player to ever wear a Blackhawks uniform, which automatically makes him an exciting addition to New York’s roster. 

As for Kane’s future with the Rangers, it is unclear what that looks like in the long term. He currently has two years left on his eight-year contract and has yet to reveal whether or not he is considering extending that with New York. Regardless of that, his main focus is on taking home a fourth Stanley Cup this season, which is a very conceivable notion. Where it stands, the Rangers are in a playoff spot with plenty of hockey to be played until the end of the regular season on April 13.