Right wing Patrick Kane is growing more comfortable with the moves the Chicago Blackhawks made this offseason. After parting with almost half the roster, including Kane's former linemate, Artemi Panarin, the Blackhawks acquired 11 players via trade and free agency. Headlining the list are a pair of familiar faces, forwards Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp. Have all the moves improved the Blackhawks since they were swept by the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference First Round last season? "It's tough to say," Kane said at the inaugural Chicago Hockey Charity Classic at Fox Valley Ice Arena on Saturday. "I think time will tell, obviously, but I'd like to think on paper we're a better team." Panarin was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets on June 23 for Saad. It was completed just hours before the 2017 NHL Draft at United Center, and followed a trade earlier that day that sent defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes for defenseman Connor Murphy and center Laurent Dauphin. During the Blackhawks fan convention in July, Kane said he initially wasn't pleased with Chicago trading Panarin, whom he'd developed good chemistry with on and off the ice. His feelings are beginning to change now. "If you look at our season last year, I mean, we had a pretty good season," Kane said. "We just kind of collapsed there at the end. Disappointing finish, but when that happens, you know there's going to be changes. You can't really ask for much more from a management standpoint, as far as asking for them to make moves to help us win. They did that." It didn't work, so the Blackhawks will try again with a significantly different look. They also traded goalie Scott Darling to the Carolina Hurricanes, Marcus Kruger to the Vegas Golden Knights and lost defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to Vegas in the NHL Expansion Draft.
Patrick Kane warming up to Blackhawks' offseason moves
NHL.com | Aug 6