All eyes are expected to be on Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane ahead of the NHL trade deadline this season.
A pending unrestricted free agent, Kane seems destined to be dealt by the rebuilding franchise, though his agent, Pat Brisson, insists neither side is in a rush to make a move.
Brisson told TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun in The Athletic that he expects Kane's year to play out similarly to Claude Giroux's last season, when the Philadelphia Flyers captain was traded to the Florida Panthers at his request ahead of the deadline.
“It’s a very similar approach that we had with Claude,” Brisson said. “We’ll see how things go in Chicago. We’ll see how Patrick feels. We’ll probably explore things at the appropriate time later this season.
“I don’t want to put too much of a timeline on it. But it’s clear the Hawks won’t push him to make a decision one way or another.”
Kane and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews are both playing out the last of the identical eight-year, $84 million deals they signed back in 2014.
The 33-year-old Kane had 26 goals and 92 points in 78 games last season, averaging more than a point per game for the fourth straight season. He has one assist in three games this season.
Toews posted 12 goals and 37 points in 71 games last season after missing the entire previous year due to chronic immune response syndrome.
The 34-year-old centre has two goals in three games this season and Brisson believes there could be a market for him at the deadline as well.
“Jon would be an asset for a team,” Brisson said. “Having Jonathan Toews in your locker room if you’re a contender trying to go deep, and having him play a role, I mean, geez, he could become an important piece as well.
“But obviously at this point, it’s a bit premature to speculate.”
Toews, who has been captain of the Blackhawks since 2008, helped the franchise to three Stanley Cups from 2010-2015 alongside Kane. The team, however, has reached the playoffs just once since 2017 and hasn't won a playoff round since their Stanley Cup championship in 2015.