Patrick Kane's iconic 16-season career with the Chicago Blackhawks is over after he was traded to the New York Rangers in a three-team deal on Tuesday.
The Rangers made the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and with the acquisitions of Kane, forward Vladimir Tarasenko and defenceman Niko Mikkola from the St. Louis Blues, plus a returnee in Tyler Motte from the Ottawa Senators, they have gone all out and are sixth-favourite to lift the cup at +1000.
Kane could make his Rangers debut when the Senators come to the Garden on Thursday night. The Rangers are -175 on the Money Line against Ottawa. Kane, meanwhile, is +900 to score the first goal and can be backed at +155 to score anytime.
The Rangers (34-17-9), who are in third place in the Metropolitan Division, sent the Blackhawks a conditional second-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, a fourth-round pick in the 2025 draft and defenceman Andy Welinski, who was playing for Hartford in the American Hockey League.
New York also sent Arizona a conditional third-round pick in the 2025 draft for helping to broker the trade as the third team involved for salary cap reasons.
The second-round pick going to Chicago will become a first-round selection in either 2024 or 2025 if the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference Final for a second consecutive season.
The Blackhawks retained 50 per-cent of Kane's remaining salary, and the Coyotes made the move possible within the league's cap by joining the trade as a third team and retaining 25 per-cent.
Kane, 34, is in the last of an eight-year contract which contains a no-move clause that gave him the final approval of the trade.
When the Blackhawks selected Buffalo native Kane with the first overall pick in 2007, they had only made the playoffs once in nine seasons.
Three years later, with 2006 third overall pick Jonathan Toews also an integral part, Chicago was crowned Stanley Cup Champions for the first time in 49 years.
With Kane and Toews leading the charge, the Blackhawks repeated as Stanley Cup winners in 2013 and 2015. But things have unravelled for the organisation since, leading to arguably the greatest player in their history leaving as part of a major tear down in order to re-build, like they did with Kane and Toews, through high draft selections.
Kane amassed 1,225 points (446 goals, 779 assists) in 1,161 regular season games and probably thought he would end his career by breaking all Blackhawks' franchise records.
Instead, he departs second in Chicago history for points and assists behind Stan Mikita (1,467 points, 926 assists), third in goals behind Bobby Hull (604) and Mikita (541), and third in games played, trailing Mikita (1,396) and Duncan Keith (1,192).
In 136 playoff games, Kane had 132 points, including 50 goals, none more memorable than his overtime goal in Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final which ended the franchises long championship drought.
Kane won the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year in 2007/08, and the Conn Smythe Trophy voted most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2013.
In 2015/16, he won the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP, the Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player as voted by members of the NHL Players' Association, and the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer.
With the Blackhawks stripping down their roster to the bare bones to benefit from the NHL's drafting system which rewards teams at the bottom of the standings with the highest picks, a contract extension for Kane was never an option at the end of the season.
Rather than allow him to leave for nothing, Chicago made him available to boost a team's Stanley Cup chances and the Rangers were Kane's first and likely only option.
Kane has scored seven goals and ten points in his last four games which has taken his season tally to 16 goals and 45 points.
After being held out of the Rangers line-up on Wednesday, Kane may well begin his new chapter at the famous Madison Square Garden against the Ottawa Senators and he believes it's one that can end in major success saying: "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."
Whether or not Kane's statement turns out to be true, adding a player certain to reach the Hockey Hall of Fame and named one of the 100 greatest ever in 2017, the Rangers have certainly given themselves a far better chance.