Kane: Offseason trade rumors were 'just a lot of noise'
Kane is entering the final year of his contract while Chicago is set to embark on a potentially lengthy rebuild, leading to plenty of speculation about his availability.
"Like I said before, it's not really something I've thought of or anything I'm thinking about right now," Kane said Thursday, per The Athletic's Scott Powers. "Maybe it's getting attention because of the situation that people might think we're in as a team or because of our contracts. It's just a lot of noise right now."
Kane continued: "It was just all rumors. I don't think there was really any legitimate discussions between any team or the Blackhawks, as far as I know."
The Blackhawks made several moves this offseason that suggest they aren't gunning for a playoff spot in 2022-23. They traded 40-goal man Alex DeBrincat to the Ottawa Senators and dealt 2019 third overall pick Kirby Dach to the Montreal Canadiens. Chicago also decided not to extend qualifying offers to forwards Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik, walking both players straight to unrestricted free agency.
Kane admitted the loss of DeBrincat was particularly tough.
"It's kind of crushing at first when you hear the news," he said. "Not only did I feel like we had some great chemistry on the ice, but he was one of my best friends and closest teammates off the ice as well."
The eight-year, $84-million contract Kane signed in 2014, which has a full no-movement clause, is set to expire after this season. If Chicago is outside the playoff picture as expected at the trade deadline, rumors are sure to heat up again.
Kane, 33, is still one of the league's top producers. The 2016 MVP registered 92 points in 78 games last season and has a playoff resume that includes three Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe Trophy, and 132 points in 136 contests.