1 of 5 | Former Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane is headed to the New York Rangers. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
March 1 (UPI) -- Veteran winger Patrick Kane says it was "bittersweet" to learn he was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to the New York Rangers, but the move puts him in a "better spot" for a fourth championship.
The teams announced the trade Tuesday night.
"This has been an emotional time for me and my family, but I feel this decision puts me in the best spot to immediately win another Stanley Cup," Kane said in a news release. "This isn't about me leaving the Blackhawks, but this is an opportunity for me. The Blackhawks did everything they could to put me in a great position and I will forever be grateful.
"It is bittersweet to leave a place that is so special to me, but I will always carry the memories we made in Chicago."
The Rangers will send the Blackhawks a conditional second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, a fourth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft and defenseman Andy Welinski in exchange for Kane and defenseman Cooper Zech.
The Arizona Coyotes also will send defenseman Vili Saarijarvi to the Blackhawks as part of the transaction.
The Blackhawks' new second-round pick can become a first-round pick (in 2024) if the Rangers make the Eastern Conference finals.
Kane, 34, joined the Blackhawks as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft. The Buffalo, N.Y., native scored 26 goals and tied his career-high with 66 assists in 78 games last season. He scored 16 times with 29 assists through 54 games this season.
The four-time All-Star, three-time champion and former MVP scored 446 goals and logged 779 assists through his first 1,161 NHL appearances. Kane ranks third in Blackhawks history, behind only Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, in goals scored.
He trails only Mikita in total points and assists for the Blackhawks.
"I will miss the roar of the United Center, the deafening sound of the anthem and the people of Chicago," Kane said. "Together, we made memories that will last a lifetime like the three Stanley Cup Champions banners that will forever hang at the United Center.
"I look forward to this next step in my career and will forever be appreciative for all I have received from the Blackhawks and Chicago."
The Rangers (34-17-9) will face the Philadelphia Flyers (23-28-10) at 7:30 p.m. EST Wednesday in Philadelphia. The Blackhawks (21-34-5) will host the Dallas Stars (31-16-13) at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Chicago.