And cue the Chicago Blackhawks trade rumors

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It didn’t take long for Patrick Kane’s injury to spark speculation over how the Chicago Blackhawks may use the long-term injury relief to add to their roster prior to Monday’s trade deadline.

From ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

And from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman:

The Blackhawks have been linked to Curtis Glencross, Andrej Sekera and Antoine Vermette, but does it make any sense to give up the assets without Kane? That’s still a really good team, but he’s been their best player.

And one more, from NHL.com’s Brian Hedger:

A major factor in all this will be Kane’s recovery timeline. What if he could be back in time for the first round of the playoffs? There’s no salary cap in the postseason, remember. So Kane’s injury could, theoretically at least, actually end up helping the Blackhawks.

Again. Theoretically. We’re pretty sure there aren’t any celebrations planned for Blackhawks HQ today. If Kane is out 10 weeks, that puts his timeline past the start of the first round (Apr. 15).

At any rate, it’s going to be extremely interesting to see how GM Stan Bowman handles this. Lots of balls in the air right now. Lots of variables to consider.

Related: PHT interviews Don Maloney, who knows he has a big trade chip in Vermette